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Brain Res. 2013 Jun 21;1516:45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.01.032. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Effects of acute microinjections of thyroid hormone to the preoptic region of euthyroid adult male rats on sleep and motor activity.

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Biology Department, Rutgers University, 315 Penn Street, Camden, NJ 08102, USA.


In adult brain tissue, thyroid hormones are known to have multiple effects which are not mediated by chronic influences of the hormones on heterodimeric thyroid hormone nuclear receptors. Previous work has shown that acute microinjections of l-triiodothyronine (T3) to the preoptic region significantly influence EEG-defined sleep in hypothyroid rats. The current study examined the effects of similar microinjections in euthyroid rats. In 7 rats with histologically confirmed microinjection sites bilaterally placed in the preoptic region, slow-wave sleep time was significantly decreased, but REM and waking were increased as compared to vehicle-injected controls. The EEG-defined parameters were significantly influenced by the microinjections in a biphasic dose-response relationship; the lowest (0.3μg) and highest (10μg) doses tested were without significant effect while intermediate doses (1 and 3μg) induced significant differences from controls. There were significant diurnal variations in the measures, yet no significant interactions between the effect of hormone and time of day were demonstrated. Core body temperature was not significantly altered in the current study. The demonstration of effects of T3 within hours instead of days is consistent with a rapid mechanism of action such as a direct influence on neurotransmission. Since the T3-mediated effects were robust in the current work, euthyroid rats retain thyroid hormone sensitivity which would be needed if sleep-regulatory mechanisms in the preoptic region are continuously modulated by the hormones. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled LInked: BRES-D-12-01552 & BRES-D-12-01363R2.

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