In most mammalian species studied, two distinct and successive phases of sleep, slow wave (SW), and rapid eye movement (REM), can be recognized on the basis of their EEG profiles and associated behaviors. Both phases have been implicated in the offline sensorimotor processing of daytime events, but the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. We studied brain expression of the plasticity-associated immediate-early gene (IEG) zif-268 during SW and REM sleep in rats exposed to rich sensorimotor experience in the preceding waking period. Whereas nonexposed controls show generalized zif-268 down-regulation during SW and REM sleep, zif-268 is upregulated during REM sleep in the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus of exposed animals. We suggest that this phenomenon represents a window of increased neuronal plasticity during REM sleep that follows enriched waking experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience