Sleep modifies glutamate decarboxylase mRNA within the barrel cortex of rats after a mystacial whisker trim

L. Churchill, P. Taishi, Z. Guan, L. Chen, J. Fang, J. M. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Study objectives: Determine the effects of time of day and sleep deprivation on glutamate decarboxylase 67,000 MW (GAD67) mRNA during cortical synaptic reorganization induced by a unilateral trimming of the mystacial vibrissae in rats. Design: Two experiments were conducted - One measured GAD67 mRNA in the barrel codex at 3 or 6 h after a unilateral whisker cut at either light or dark onset; the other measured GAD67 mRNA after a unilateral whisker cut at light onset with or without sleep deprivation. Setting: University-based Research Laboratory Participants: Sprague-Dawley rats (250-350 g) Interventions: N/A Measurements and Results: The reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to measure the time of day changes in GAD67 mRNA after a unilateral whisker cut. GAD67 mRNA decreased in the barrel cortex at 3 and 6 h after a whisker trim at dark onset when the rats were mainly awake. No changes were observed in GAD67 mRNA levels after a whisker cut at light onset, a time when the rats mainly sleep. In situ hybridization for GAD67 mRNA supported these findings; no changes in GAD mRNA occurred in layer 4 of the barrel codex that received input from the mystacial whiskers that were trimmed at light onset. However, when the rats were sleep-deprived, GAD67 mRNA increased in the barrel codex receiving input from the lip hairs surrounding the trimmed mystacial whiskers. Conclusions: These data imply that sleep modifies GAD67 mRNA expression and that this effect is dependent upon the nature of the ongoing synaptic reorganization. They support the notion that sleep serves a synaptic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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