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Resilience to acute sleep deprivation is associated with attenuation of hippocampal mediated learning impairment
Background: Sleep deprivation is a universal issue that affects individuals in different ways. While some individuals experience a deficit in performance, others experience resiliency as they maintain high levels of physical and mental activity. Sleep loss is known to cause cognitive dysfunction in areas such as learning and memory, but little is known about neural mechanisms that contribute to resilience to this adverse effect.
Methods: An existing database of a learning paradigm in sleep deprived and non-sleep deprived 16 to 18-month old C57BL/6 mice was used to identify fast learners and slow learners based on an R2 value representing the learning curve of each individual mouse.
Results: Results showed that sleep deprived mice had more slow learners compared to fast learners whereas non-sleep-deprived mice showed the opposite. Hippocampal immunohistochemistry and digital imaging analysis showed sleep deprived, fast learners expressed lower levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and histone deacetylase 2 and higher levels of synaptophysin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor compared to sleep-deprived slow learners.
Conclusions: These observations provide evidence to suggest that sleep-deprived mice that performed well in a cognitive assay show less hippocampal mediated learning impairment and provide the rationale for further investigations into neurobiological resilience to sleep deprivation with increasing age.
Keywords: Sleep deprivation, resiliency, learning impairment, aging, neuropathology, hippocampus