Send to

Choose Destination
Homeost Health Dis. 1991;33(3):97-108.

Neuroendocrine and neurochemical consequences of long-term sleep deprivation in rats: similarities to some features of depression.

Author information

Brain Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.


The paradigm of long-term sleep deprivation was used as a model of chronic inescapable stress in rats. Several basic metabolic parameters (body weight changes, food and water intake, rectal temperature, serum glucose and creatinine), adrenal and thyroid secretion, norepinephrine and dopamine content and turnover in discrete brain regions, and open field behaviour were examined in the course of the exposure to experimental stress. Sleep deprivation over 7-9 days caused complete physical exhaustion of the animals. It was accompanied by hypothermia and hyperphagia. Adrenal activity was characterized by significant hypercorticism, but also by a relative decrease of the responsiveness to ACTH. A gradual decrease in the thyroid secretion was observed. Sleep deprivation elicited a depletion of norepinephrine in the hypothalamus and decreased its turnover, whereas hippocampal norepinephrine content decreased without considerable turnover alterations. Striatal dopamine content and turnover remained unaffected. Behavioural depression and altered open field activity were also observed in exhausted animals. Long-term sleep deprivation, therefore, seems to reproduce some of the biological correlates of the depressive illness, and may be useful in studying the development of coping failure as a result of chronic stress exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center