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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Sep 29;856:148-59.

Sleep. A physiologic role for IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha.

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Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6520, USA.


Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) are involved in physiologic sleep regulation. Administration of exogenous IL-1 beta or TNF-alpha induces increased non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS). Inhibition of IL-1 or TNF reduces spontaneous sleep. There is a diurnal rhythm of TNF-alpha mRNA and IL-1 beta mRNA in brain with highest levels occurring during peak sleep periods. Mice lacking either the TNF 55-kD receptor or the IL-1 type I receptor sleep less than do strain controls. IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha are part of a larger biochemical cascade involved in sleep regulation; other somnogenic substances in this cascade include growth hormone-releasing hormone and nitric oxide. Several additional substances are involved in inhibitory feedback mechanisms, some of which inhibit IL-1 and TNF. A major challenge to sleep research is to define how and where these molecular steps produce sleep.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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