Brain-derived neurotrophic factor enhances spontaneous sleep in rats and rabbits

Tetsuya Kushikata, Jidong Fang, James M. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Various growth factors are involved in sleep regulation. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) belongs to the neurotrophin family; it and its receptors are found in normal brain. Furthermore, cerebral cortical levels of BDNF mRNA have a diurnal variation and increase after sleep deprivation. Therefore, we investigated whether BDNF would promote sleep. Twenty-four male Sprague-Dawley rats (320-380 g) and 25 male New Zealand White rabbits (4.5- 5.5 kg) were surgically implanted with electroencephalographic (EEG) electrodes, a brain thermistor, and a lateral intracerebroventricular cannula. The animals were injected intracerebroventricularly with pyrogen- free saline and, on a separate day, one of the following doses of BDNF: 25 or 250 ng in rabbits; 10, 50, or 250 ng in rats. The EEG, brain temperature, and motor activity were recorded for 23 h after the intracerebroventricular injections. BDNF increased time spent in non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) in rats and rabbits and REMS in rabbits, current results provide further evidence that various growth factors are involved in sleep regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1334-R1338
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 45-5
StatePublished - May 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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