A brief period of sleep deprivation causes spine loss in the dentate gyrus of mice

Raven, F., Meerlo, P., van der Zee, E. A., Abel, T. & Havekes, R., Apr-2019, In : Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 160, p. 83-90

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Sleep and sleep loss have a profound impact on hippocampal function, leading to memory impairments. Modifications in the strength of synaptic connections directly influences neuronal communication, which is vital for normal brain function, as well as the processing and storage of information. In a recently published study, we found that as little as five hours of sleep deprivation impaired hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation, which was accompanied by a reduction in dendritic spine numbers in hippocampal area CA1. Surprisingly, loss of sleep did not alter the spine density of CA3 neurons. Although sleep deprivation has been reported to affect the function of the dentate gyrus, it is unclear whether a brief period of sleep deprivation impacts spine density in this region. Here, we investigated the impact of a brief period of sleep deprivation on dendritic structure in the dentate gyrus of the dorsal hippocampus. We found that five hours of sleep loss reduces spine density in the dentate gyrus with a prominent effect on branched spines. Interestingly, the inferior blade of the dentate gyrus seems to be more vulnerable in terms of spine loss than the superior blade. This decrease in spine density predominantly in the inferior blade of the dentate gyrus may contribute to the memory deficits observed after sleep loss, as structural reorganization of synaptic networks in this subregion is fundamental for cognitive processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Early online date24-Mar-2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2019


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