Conditions that affect sleep alter the expression of molecules associated with synaptic plasticity

P. Taishi, C. Sanchez, Y. Wang, J. Fang, J. W. Harding, J. M. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Many theories propose that sleep serves a purpose in synaptic plasticity. We tested the hypothesis, therefore, that manipulation of sleep would affect the expression of molecules known to be involved in synaptic plasticity. mRNA expression of four molecules [brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)] was determined after 8 h of sleep deprivation and after 6 h of a mild increase in ambient temperature, a condition that enhances sleep in rats. After sleep deprivation, BDNF, Arc, and tPA mRNAs in the cerebral cortex increased while MMP-9 mRNA levels decreased. Conversely, after enhanced ambient temperature, BDNF, Arc, and tPA mRNAs decreased while MMP-9 mRNA increased. In the hippocampus, sleep deprivation did not significantly affect BDNF and tPA expression, although Arc mRNA increased and MMP-9 mRNA decreased. Brain temperature enhancement decreased Arc mRNA levels in the hippocampus but did not affect BDNF, MMP-9, or tPA in this area. Results are consistent with the notion that sleep plays a role in synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R839-R845
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 50-3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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