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Cereb Cortex. 2016 Apr;26(4):1488-1500. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu310. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

REM Sleep-Dependent Bidirectional Regulation of Hippocampal-Based Emotional Memory and LTP.

Ravassard P1,2,3,4, Hamieh AM1,2,3,5, Joseph MA1,2,3, Fraize N1,2,3, Libourel PA1,2,3, Lebarillier L1,2,3, Arthaud S1,2,3, Meissirel C1,3,6, Touret M1,3,6, Malleret G1,2,3, Salin PA1,2,3.

Author information

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Unité Mixte de Recherche 5292 ; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Unité 1028, Lyon Cedex 08, France.
Physiopathology of the Sleep Neuronal Networks, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, F-69008 Lyon, France.
University Lyon 1, F-69000 Lyon, France.
Current address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Current address: INSERM U1107, UdA Neuro-Dol Equipe Pharmacologie Fondamentale et Clinique de la Douleur, Facultés de Médecine et de Pharmacie, 28 Place Henri-Dunant BP38, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Neuro-oncology and Neuro-inflammation, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, F-69000 Lyon, France.


Prolonged rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep deprivation has long been used to study the role of REM sleep in learning and memory processes. However, this method potentially induces stress and fatigue that may directly affect cognitive functions. Here, by using a short-term and nonstressful REM sleep deprivation (RSD) method we assessed in rats the bidirectional influence of reduced and increased REM sleep amount on hippocampal-dependent emotional memory and plasticity. Our results indicate that 4 h RSD impaired consolidation of contextual fear conditioning (CFC) and induction of long-term potentiation (LTP), while decreasing density of Egr1/Zif268-expressing neurons in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. LTP and Egr1 expression were not affected in ventral CA1. Conversely, an increase in REM sleep restores and further facilitates CFC consolidation and LTP induction, and also increases Egr1 expression in dorsal CA1. Moreover, CFC consolidation, Egr1 neuron density, and LTP amplitude in dorsal CA1 show a positive correlation with REM sleep amount. Altogether, these results indicate that mild changes in REM sleep amount bidirectionally affect memory and synaptic plasticity mechanisms occurring in the CA1 area of the dorsal hippocampus.


Egr1/Zif268; contextual fear conditioning; dorsal CA1 area; short-term REM sleep deprivation

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