Study Objectives: Millions suffer from sleep disorders that often accompany severe illnesses such as major depression; a leading psychiatric disorder characterized by appetite and rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) abnormalities. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and nesfatin-1/NUCB2 (nesfatin) are strongly co - expressed in the hypothalamus and are involved both in food intake regulation and depression. Since MCH was recognized earlier as a hypnogenic factor, we analyzed the potential role of nesfatin on vigilance. Design: We subjected rats to a 72 h-long REMS deprivation using the classic flower pot method, followed by a 3 h-long 'rebound sleep'. Nesfatin mRNA and protein expressions as well as neuronal activity (Fos) were measured by quantitative in situ hybridization technique, ELISA and immunohistochemistry, respectively, in 'deprived' and 'rebound' groups, relative to controls sacrificed at the same time. We also analyzed electroencephalogram of rats treated by intracerebroventricularly administered nesfatin-1, or saline. Results: REMS deprivation downregulated the expression of nesfatin (mRNA and protein), however, enhanced REMS during 'rebound' reversed this to control levels. Additionally, increased transcriptional activity (Fos) was demonstrated in nesfatin neurons during 'rebound'. Centrally administered nesfatin-1 at light on reduced REMS and intermediate stage of sleep, while increased passive wake for several hours and also caused a short-term increase in light slow wave sleep. Conclusions: The data designate nesfatin as a potential new factor in sleep regulation, which fact can also be relevant in the better understanding of the role of nesfatin in the pathomechanism of depression. © 2013 Vas et al.
Vas, S., Ádori, C., Könczöl, K., Kátai, Z., Pap, D., Papp, R. S., … Tóth, Z. E. (2013). Nesfatin-1/NUCB2 as a Potential New Element of Sleep Regulation in Rats. PLoS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059809