Impairment of the mitochondrial electron transport chain due to sleep deprivation in mice Journal Articles uri icon

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  • It has been demonstrated that sleep deprivation is associated with altered expression of genes related to metabolic processes, response to stress and inflammation, circadian sleep/wake cycles, regulation of cell proliferation and various signaling pathways. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes remain poorly understood. Thus, the present study aims to characterize the function of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in the brain using an animal model of paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD). The question of whether sleep recovery (rebound) can reverse changes found after PSD is also addressed. Adult male inbred C57BL/6J mice were randomly distributed into three groups: home-cage control, PSD and sleep rebound groups. The PSD and rebound groups were subjected to PSD for 72 h. After this sleep deprivation period, the rebound group was returned to its home cage and allowed to sleep in an undisturbed and spontaneous fashion for 24h. The mitochondrial complex I-III, complex II, succinate dehydrogenase and complex II-III activities were then measured by spectrophotometric methods in sub-mitochondrial particles extracted from the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and hypothalamus. Our results showed a significant decrease in the activity of complex I-III in the PSD and rebound groups as compared to the control group. The complex II and II-III activity were particularly decreased in the hypothalamus of the sleep rebound group. These results are consistent with the involvement of sleep in energy metabolism and corroborate previous experiments demonstrating the importance of the hypothalamus in sleep regulation.


  • Andreazza, Ana C
  • Andersen, Monica L
  • Alvarenga, Tathiana A
  • de-Oliveira, Marcos R
  • Armani, Fernanda
  • Ruiz, Francieli S
  • Giglio, Larriany
  • Moreira, José CF
  • Kapczinski, Flavio
  • Tufik, Sergio

publication date

  • September 2010