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Brain Res. 2002 Nov 15;955(1-2):221-8.

Sleep states and sleep electroencephalographic spectral power in mice lacking the beta 3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor.

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Stanford University Sleep Research Center, 701 Welch Road, Suite 2226 Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


Mice lacking the GABA(A) receptor beta(3) subunit exhibit a profound disruption in thalamic circuitry. We have studied sleep in these mice under baseline conditions and following treatment with the benzodiazepine midazolam. Under baseline conditions, NREM sleep time did not differ between beta(3) subunit knockout mice and wild type mice, while REM sleep time was significantly lower in knockout mice than in wild type mice during the light portion of a 24-h light-dark cycle. In constant dark conditions, circadian rhythmicity remained intact in mutant mice for a period of at least 9 days. EEG delta power (1-4 Hz) was significantly greater in the knockout than in wild type mice during NREM sleep but not during other states. A transient increase in EEG power in the 12-16 Hz range that occurred in wild type mice just prior to the transition from NREM to REM sleep was present but significantly blunted in the knockout. Midazolam decreased NREM delta power and REM time in wild type mice. The former but not the latter response to midazolam was intact in the knockout. These results further support a role for GABAergic transmission in regulating REM sleep and EEG spectral phenomena associated with NREM sleep.

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