Effects of Sleep Fragmentation on Sleep and Markers of Inflammation in Mice

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Many people in our society experience curtailment and disruption of sleep due to work responsibilities, care-giving, or life style choice. Delineating the health effect of acute and chronic disruptions in sleep is essential to raising awareness of and creating interventions to manage these prevalent concerns. To provide a platform for studying the health impact and underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms associated with inadequate sleep, we developed and characterized an approach to creating chronic disruption of sleep in laboratory mice. We used this method to evaluate how 3 durations of sleep fragmentation (SF) affect sleep recuperation and blood and lung analyte concentrations in male C57BL/6J mice. Mice housed in environmentally controlled chambers were exposed to automated SF for periods of 6, 12, or 24 h or for 12 h daily during the light (somnolent) phase for 4 sequential days. Sleep time, slow-wave amplitude, or bout lengths were significantly higher when uninterrupted sleep was permitted after each of the 3 SF durations. However, mice did not recover all of the lost slow-wave sleep during the subsequent 12- to 24-h period and maintained a net loss of sleep. Light-phase SF was associated with significant changes in serum and lung levels of some inflammatory substances, but these changes were not consistent or sustained. The data indicate that acute light-phase SF can result in a sustained sleep debt in mice and may disrupt the inflammatory steady-state in serum and lung.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, USA 2: Department of Statistics and Research Informatics, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, USA 3: Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, USA ltoth@siumed.edu

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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