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Sleep deprivation in the rat: XI. The effect of guanethidine-induced sympathetic blockade on the sleep deprivation syndrome

, : Sleep deprivation in the rat: XI. The effect of guanethidine-induced sympathetic blockade on the sleep deprivation syndrome. Sleep 13(3): 218-231

In earlier studies, rats totally deprived of sleep by a disk-over-water apparatus (TSD rats) had shown an increase in energy expenditure (EE) that could not be explained by increased motor activity or the metabolic expense of wakefulness. Excessive activation of a calorigenic mediator was a possibility, and norepinephrine-mediated sympathetic activation was the most likely candidate, because plasma norepinephrine (NE) levels had risen sharply in TSD rats. To determine whether this activation was necessary for increased EE in sleep deprived rats, the peripheral sympathetic blocking agent guanethidine (GU) was administered to six sleep-deprived (GD) rats and their yoked control (GC) rats. GU attenuated the increase in NE previously seen in TSD rats, but the increase in EE was not attenuated. Apparently, NE-mediated sympathetic activation was not critical for increased EE in sleep-deprived rats. On the other hand, plasma epinephrine (EPI) levels were significantly increased in GD (but not in GC) rats above those previously seen in TSD rats, suggesting the substitution of one calorigenic mediator for another in response to an abnormally elevated need for EE. Temperature data suggest that increased need for EE could arise from an elevated temperature setpoint and an inability to retain body heat. GD (but not GC) rats also showed other effects previously seen in TSD rats, including debilitated appearance; severe ulcerative and hyperkeratotic lesions on the tails and plantar surfaces; initially increased and later decreased body temperature; decreased plasma thyroxine; increased triiodothyronine-thyroxine ratio; and eventual death. Evidently, NE-mediated sympathetic activation was not critical to any of these effects, although a role for catecholamines cannot be ruled out.


PMID: 2356394

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