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Sleep. 1992 Feb;15(1):13-20.

Sleep deprivation in the rat: XV. Ambient temperature choice in paradoxical sleep-deprived rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, Illinois.


Previous studies of total sleep deprivation (TSD) and paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) in the rat by the disk-over-water method have indicated that both produce changes in thermoregulation. In both kinds of deprivation, there was a progressive, large increase in heat production as indicated by measures of energy expenditure (EE). In TSD there was an initial increase in waking body temperature (Tb) followed by a later decrease; in PSD there was only a progressive decrease. The increases in heat production far in excess of heat storage indicated increased heat loss in both groups. Because the increase in Tb in TSD rats was supported by ambient temperature choices (Tch) in a thermal gradient that became progressively higher during deprivation, an increase in waking temperature setpoint (TSET) was indicated. Because the rats resorted to behavioral warming in spite of greatly increased thermogenesis, they must have had some failure to retain body heat. Prior to the present study, changes in TSET, had not been evaluated in PSD rats. Because they had not shown increases in Tb, PSD rats might not have an elevated TSET, which would indicate a functional difference between PS and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Also, an evaluation of behavioral thermoregulation in PSD rats would clarify whether their Tb decline resulted from excessive heat loss or from a lowered TSET. To evaluate changes in heat flow and TSET, EE, Tb and Tch were measured in five PSD rats and their yoked control (PSC) rats. PSD rats showed progressive increases in EE and decreases in Tb as in the earlier PSD study; Tch rose progressively. PSC rats showed minimal changes in all three parameters.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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