c-Fos expression in the limbic thalamus following thermoregulatory and wake–sleep changes in the rat

Marco Luppi, Matteo Cerri, Alessia Di Cristoforo, Timna Hitrec, Daniela Dentico, Flavia Del Vecchio, Davide Martelli, Emanuele Perez, Domenico Tupone, Giovanni Zamboni, Roberto Amici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A cellular degeneration of two thalamic nuclei belonging to the “limbic thalamus”, i.e., the anteroventral (AV) and mediodorsal (MD) nuclei, has been shown in patients suffering from Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), a lethal prion disease characterized by autonomic activation and severe insomnia. To better assess the physiological role of these nuclei in autonomic and sleep regulation, c-Fos expression was measured in rats during a prolonged exposure to low ambient temperature (T a , − 10 °C) and in the first hours of the subsequent recovery period at normal laboratory T a (25 °C). Under this protocol, the thermoregulatory and autonomic activation led to a tonic increase in waking and to a reciprocal depression in sleep occurrence, which was more evident for REM sleep. These effects were followed by a clear REM sleep rebound and by a rebound of Delta power during non-REM sleep in the following recovery period. In the anterior thalamic nuclei, c-Fos expression was (1) larger during the activity rather than the rest period in the baseline; (2) clamped at a level in-between the normal daily variation during cold exposure; (3) not significantly affected during the recovery period in comparison to the time-matched baseline. No significant changes were observed in either the MD or the paraventricular thalamic nucleus, which is also part of the limbic thalamus. The observed changes in the activity of the anterior thalamic nuclei appear, therefore, to be more specifically related to behavioral activation than to autonomic or sleep regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExperimental Brain Research
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Anterior Thalamic Nuclei
Thalamus
Sleep
REM Sleep
Fatal Familial Insomnia
Midline Thalamic Nuclei
Mediodorsal Thalamic Nucleus
Thalamic Nuclei
Prion Diseases
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Depression
Temperature

Keywords

  • Autonomic regulation
  • Cold exposure
  • Fatal familial insomnia
  • P-CREB
  • Sleep deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

c-Fos expression in the limbic thalamus following thermoregulatory and wake–sleep changes in the rat. / Luppi, Marco; Cerri, Matteo; Di Cristoforo, Alessia; Hitrec, Timna; Dentico, Daniela; Del Vecchio, Flavia; Martelli, Davide; Perez, Emanuele; Tupone, Domenico; Zamboni, Giovanni; Amici, Roberto.

In: Experimental Brain Research, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Luppi, M, Cerri, M, Di Cristoforo, A, Hitrec, T, Dentico, D, Del Vecchio, F, Martelli, D, Perez, E, Tupone, D, Zamboni, G & Amici, R 2019, 'c-Fos expression in the limbic thalamus following thermoregulatory and wake–sleep changes in the rat', Experimental Brain Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-019-05521-2
Luppi, Marco ; Cerri, Matteo ; Di Cristoforo, Alessia ; Hitrec, Timna ; Dentico, Daniela ; Del Vecchio, Flavia ; Martelli, Davide ; Perez, Emanuele ; Tupone, Domenico ; Zamboni, Giovanni ; Amici, Roberto. / c-Fos expression in the limbic thalamus following thermoregulatory and wake–sleep changes in the rat. In: Experimental Brain Research. 2019.
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AU - Dentico, Daniela

AU - Del Vecchio, Flavia

AU - Martelli, Davide

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AB - A cellular degeneration of two thalamic nuclei belonging to the “limbic thalamus”, i.e., the anteroventral (AV) and mediodorsal (MD) nuclei, has been shown in patients suffering from Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), a lethal prion disease characterized by autonomic activation and severe insomnia. To better assess the physiological role of these nuclei in autonomic and sleep regulation, c-Fos expression was measured in rats during a prolonged exposure to low ambient temperature (T a , − 10 °C) and in the first hours of the subsequent recovery period at normal laboratory T a (25 °C). Under this protocol, the thermoregulatory and autonomic activation led to a tonic increase in waking and to a reciprocal depression in sleep occurrence, which was more evident for REM sleep. These effects were followed by a clear REM sleep rebound and by a rebound of Delta power during non-REM sleep in the following recovery period. In the anterior thalamic nuclei, c-Fos expression was (1) larger during the activity rather than the rest period in the baseline; (2) clamped at a level in-between the normal daily variation during cold exposure; (3) not significantly affected during the recovery period in comparison to the time-matched baseline. No significant changes were observed in either the MD or the paraventricular thalamic nucleus, which is also part of the limbic thalamus. The observed changes in the activity of the anterior thalamic nuclei appear, therefore, to be more specifically related to behavioral activation than to autonomic or sleep regulation.

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