Behavioural rhythmicity in transgenic growth hormone mice: trade-offs, energetics, and sleep–wake cycles Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • Transgenic mice with extra rat growth hormone (GH) genes (TRrGH mice) are behaviourally lethargic and sleep 3.4 h/d longer than normal on standard diets. We tested the hypothesis that the doubling of the growth rate of TRrGH mice reduced the energy available for behaviour. Provision of sucrose supplements ad libitum normalized the durations of activity and sleep. Our results support a new allocative theory suggesting that sleep serves as an umbrella function for a suite of synergistic anabolic functions (e.g., growth, immunity, repair). Relegating these to the period of sleep in a secure nest allows full dedication of waking resources to niche interfacing (resource acquisition, risk avoidance and environmental stress resistance). Energy stress in TRrGH mice may arise via specific diversion of energy from waking functions via GH-induced insulin resistance. GH is normally secreted during sleep, but any causal relationship remains unresolved. We examined the circadian and ultradian behaviour of TRrGH mice to determine how a chronically elevated GH level impacts sleep. Remarkably, even the major hormonal distortion in TRrGH mice had little impact on the timing of ultradian or circadian rhythms. Increased sleeping of TRrGH mice on normal diets was due to an increased likelihood and duration of sleep at permitted times. GH did, however, appear to increase the depth of sleep.

publication date

  • July 1, 1997