Sex- and age-dependent differences in sleep-wake characteristics of fisher-344 rats.

TitleSex- and age-dependent differences in sleep-wake characteristics of fisher-344 rats.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsKostin A, Alam MAftab, Siegel JM, McGinty D, Alam MNoor
Date Published2020 02 10

Aging is a well-recognized risk factor for sleep disruption. The characteristics of sleep in aging include its disruption by frequent awakenings, a decline in both non-rapid eye movement (nonREM) and REM sleep amounts, and a weaker homeostatic response to sleep loss. Evidence also suggests that sleep in females is more sensitive to changes in the ovarian steroidal milieu. The Fischer-344 rats are commonly used experimental subjects in behavioral and physiological studies, including sleep and aging. Most sleep studies in Fischer-344 rats have used male subjects to avoid interactions between the estrus and sleep-waking cycles. The changes in the sleep-wake organization of female Fischer-344 rats, especially with advancing age, are not well-characterized. We determined sleep-waking features of cycling females across estrus stages. We also compared spontaneous and homeostatic sleep response profiles of young (3-4 months) and old (24-25 months) male and female Fischer-344 rats. The results suggest that: i) sleep-wake architectures across stages of estrus cycle in young females were largely comparable except for a significant suppression of REM sleep at proestrus night and an increase in REM sleep the following day; ii) despite hormonal differences, sleep-wake architecture in male and female rats of corresponding ages were comparable except for the suppression of REM sleep at proestrus night and higher nonREM delta power in recovery sleep; and iii) aging significantly affected sleep-wake amounts, sleep-wake stability, and homeostatic response to sleep loss in both male and female rats and that the adverse effects of aging were largely comparable in both sexes.

Alternate JournalNeuroscience
PubMed ID31846749
PubMed Central IDPMC7194174
Grant ListR01 DA034748 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL148574 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States