Interleukin-4 inhibits spontaneous sleep in rabbits

Tetsuya Kushikata, Jidong Fang, Ying Wang, James M. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α, are involved in sleep regulation. IL-4 is an antiinflammatory cytokine that inhibits proinflammatory cytokine production. The hypothesis that IL-4 should attenuate sleep was studied by determining the effects of IL-4 on rabbit spontaneous sleep. Thirty-six rabbits were used. Four doses of IL-4 (0.25, 2.5, 25, and 250 ng) were injected intracerebroventricularly during the rest (light) period. One dose of IL-4 (25 ng) was injected during the active (dark) cycle. Appropriate time- matched control injections of saline were done in the same rabbits on different days. The three highest doses of IL-4 significantly inhibited spontaneous non-rapid eye movement sleep if IL-4 was given during the light cycle. The highest dose of IL-4 (250 ng) also significantly decreased rapid eye movement sleep. On the other hand, IL-4 administered at dark onset had no effect on sleep. The sleep inhibitory properties of IL-4 provide additional evidence for the hypothesis that a brain cytokine network is involved in the regulation of physiological sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1185-R1191
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 44-4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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