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Brain Res. 2002 Feb 1;926(1-2):80-5.

Correlation between the fighting rates of REM sleep-deprived rats and susceptibility to the 'wild running' of audiogenic seizures.

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Instituto de Biociências de Botucatu, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Campus de Botucatu, SP, Brazil.


Sleep-deprived rats exhibit defensive fighting as well as explosive flights very similar to the wild-running of audiogenic seizures. In order to determine why sleep deprivation is a common factor that facilitates both panic and convulsive manifestations, the present study was undertaken to investigate whether rats that display sleep deprivation-induced fighting (SDIF) are the same as those that are susceptible to audiogenic wild-running (WR). Twenty-eight male adult Wistar rats were divided into two groups assigned to two experimental schemes. In the first, 18 subjects were submitted to REM-sleep deprivation for 5 days and had their SDIF evaluated in social grouping. After 1 week for recovery, their susceptibility to WR was tested in an acoustic stimulation trial (104 dB, 200 Hz, 60 s). Rats that did not present WR received a lactate infusion and were tested again by acoustic stimulation 40 min later. In the second experimental scheme, 10 subjects were initially evaluated for WR susceptibility and the number of SDIF was recorded in social grouping after 1 week. Three categories of WR-susceptibility were determined: WR-sensitive rats, intermediate WR-sensitive rats and WR-insensitive rats. The number of SDIF in each category was significantly different and there was a high positive correlation (r=0.89; Spearman test) between the number of SDIF and the level of WR-susceptibility. We conclude that the reasons why sleep deprivation exerts facilitatory effects on both panic and convulsive manifestations are due to overlappings of neural pathways responsible for both behavioral patterns and for the property of sleep deprivation to increase neuronal excitability.

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