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Muscle Nerve. 2012 Mar;45(3):431-3. doi: 10.1002/mus.22322.

Paradoxical sleep deprivation induces muscle atrophy.

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  • 1Departamento de Psicobiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Professor Francisco de Castro, 93 Vila Clementino, CEP 04020-050, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



Because paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) induces a catabolic hormone profile, we sought to evaluate the morphology of the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle and testosterone and corticosterone levels of paradoxical sleep-deprived rats.


Three study groups of rats were established: the first group was sleep deprived for 96 h; the second group was also sleep deprived for 96 h, but then returned to their home-cage and allowed to sleep for the next 96 h; and the third group was the control group, with a normal sleep cycle.


PSD reduced the weight and fiber cross-sectional area of the TA muscle. Moreover, PSD enhanced plasma corticosterone and reduced serum testosterone levels. The 96 h of sleep after PSD was sufficient to restore partially the morphology of TA, while hormones returned to basal levels.


PSD induces hormonal alterations that may mediate muscle atrophy.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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