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Hypertension is associated with sleep disorders. Spontaneously hypertensive rats are derived from Wistar-Kyoto rats and widely used in research on hypertension. The present study investigated the propensity to sleep and electroencephalographic spectrum changes over 24 hr in spontaneously hypertensive rats, and proposed the involvement of the serotonergic system in these alterations. Time-course analysis showed that spontaneously hypertensive rats exhibit hyperarousal during the light phase but hypersomnia during the dark phase. Spontaneously hypertensive rats also exhibited less slight fluctuation in electroencephalographic delta power density over 24 hr as compared with Wistar-Kyoto rats, suggesting that the accumulation or elimination of sleep pressure was disrupted. Sleep deprivation disrupted the regulation of sleep homeostasis in spontaneously hypertensive rats, reflected by less sleep time and poor sleep quality during the recovery period. The density and activity of serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus were higher in spontaneously hypertensive rats compared with Wistar-Kyoto rats. Interestingly, we observed the absence of fluctuations in 5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid across the sleep, wake, sleep deprivation and sleep recovery stages in spontaneously hypertensive rats, which were dramatically different from Wistar-Kyoto rats. These results indicate that the disruption of sleep-wake pattern and sleep homeostasis in spontaneously hypertensive rats might be related to abnormalities of the serotonergic system. © 2019 European Sleep Research Society.


Su-Ying Cui, Yuan-Li Huang, Xiang-Yu Cui, Hui-Ling Zhao, Xiao Hu, Yu-Tong Liu, Yong-He Zhang. Serotonergic system may be involved in alterations of sleep homeostasis in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Journal of sleep research. 2020 Dec;29(6):e12947

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PMID: 31726489

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