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Brain Res. 1997 Mar 14;751(1):81-9.

CSF levels of prostaglandins, especially the level of prostaglandin D2, are correlated with increasing propensity towards sleep in rats.

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Osaka Bioscience Institute, Department of Molecular Behavioral Biology, Japan.


The concentration of PGD2, PGE2, and of PGF2 alpha was measured in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collected from the cisterna magna of conscious rats (n = 29), which, chronically implanted with a catheter for the CSF sampling, underwent deprivation of daytime sleep. Significant elevation of the CSF level of PGD2 was observed following 2.5-h sleep deprivation (SD), and the elevation became more marked following 5- and 10-h SD, apparently reaching the maximum at 5-h SD (703 +/- 140 pg/ml (mean +/- S.E.M.) for baseline vs. 1734 +/- 363 pg/ml for SD, n = 10). The levels of PGE2, and PGF2 alpha also significantly increased following 5- and 10-h SD, but not following 2.5-h SD. It is unlikely that these changes were simply caused by some responses of the animals to stress stimuli, because stress stimuli derived from restraint of the animal at the supine position to a board for 1 h did not produce any acute responses in the CSF levels of prostaglandins (n = 13). In a different group of animals (n = 11) implanted with electrodes for recording electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) in addition to the catheter, the levels of the prostaglandins in CSF were determined for slow-wave sleep (SWS) and wakefulness in the day and for SWS and wakefulness in the night. The highest PGD2 value was obtained at daytime SWS, whereas the lowest was at night wakefulness; furthermore, a significant difference was observed between SWS and wakefulness rather than between day and night. The CSF level of PGE2 also showed a similar tendency. In an additional group of animals (n = 6), not only PGD2 but also PGE2 and PGF2 alpha significantly increased the sleeping time of the animal when applied into the subarachnoid space underlying the ventral surface area of the rostral basal forebrain, the previously defined site of action for the sleep-promoting effect of PGD2. The promotion of sleep by PGE2 applied to the subarachnoid space was an effect completely opposite to the well-established awaking effect of the same prostaglandin demonstrated in the hypothalamic region in a series of previous studies. Based on these results, we conclude that increases in CSF levels of prostaglandins, especially that of PGD2, are correlated in rats with heightened propensity towards sleep and further with the depth of sleep under normal as well as SD conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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