Browsing by Author "Gass, Natalia"

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  • Gass, Natalia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Background: Adenosine is a potent sleep-promoting substance, and one of its targets is the basal forebrain. Fairly little is known about its mechanism of action in the basal forebrain and about the receptor subtype mediating its regulating effects on sleep homeostasis. Homeostatic deficiency might be one of the causes of the profoundly disturbed sleep pattern in major depressive disorder, which could explain the reduced amounts of delta-activity-rich stages 3 and 4. Since major depression has a relatively high heritability, and on the other hand adenosine regulates sleep homeostasis and might also be involved in mood modulation, adenosine-related genes should be considered for their possible contribution to a predisposition for depression and disturbed sleep in humans. Depression is a complex disorder likely involving the abnormal functioning of several genes. Novel target genes which could serve as the possible common substrates for depression and comorbid disturbed sleep should be identified. In this way specific brain areas related to sleep regulation should be studied by using animal model of depression which represents more homogenous phenotype as compared to humans. It is also important to study these brain areas during the development of depressive-like features to understand how early changes could facilitate pathophysiological changes in depression. Aims and methods: We aimed to find out whether, in the basal forebrain, adenosine induces recovery non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep after prolonged waking through the A1 or/and A2A receptor subtype. A1 and A2A receptor antagonists were perfused into the rat basal forebrain during 3 h of sleep deprivation, and the amount of NREM sleep and delta power during recovery NREM sleep were analyzed. We then explored whether polymorphisms in genes related to the metabolism, transport and signaling of adenosine could predispose to depression accompanied by signs of disturbed sleep. DNA from 1423 individuals representative of the Finnish population and including controls and cases with depression, depression accompanied by early morning awakenings and depression accompanied by fatigue, was used in the study to investigate the possible association between polymorphisms from adenosine-related genes and cases. Finally to find common molecular substrates of depression and disturbed sleep, gene expression changes were investigated in specific brain areas in the rat clomipramine model of depression. We focused on the basal forebrain of 3-week old clomipramine-treated rats which develop depressive-like symptoms later in adulthood and on the hypothalamus of adult female clomipramine-treated rats. Results: Blocking of the A1 receptor during sleep deprivation resulted in a reduction of the recovery NREM sleep amount and delta power, whereas A2A receptor antagonism had no effect. Polymorphisms in adenosine-related genes SLC29A3 (equilibrative nucleoside transporter type 3) in women and SLC28A1 (concentrative nucleoside transporter type 1) in men associated with depression alone as well as when accompanied by early morning awakenings and fatigue. In Study III the basal forebrain of postnatal rats treated with clomipramine displayed disturbances in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor type A signaling, in synaptic transmission and possible epigenetic changes. CREB1 was identified as a common transcription denominator which also mediates epigenetic regulation. In the hypothalamus the major changes included the expression of genes in GABA-A receptor pathway, K+ channel-related, glutamatergic and mitochondrial genes, as well as an overexpression of genes related to RNA and mRNA processing. Conclusions: Adenosine plays an important role in sleep homeostasis by promoting recovery NREM sleep via the A1 receptor subtype in the basal forebrain. Also adenosine levels might contribute to the risk of depression with disturbed sleep, since the genes encoding nucleoside transporters showed the strongest associations with depression alone and when accompanied by signs of disturbed sleep in both women and men. Sleep and mood abnormalities in major depressive disorder could be a consequence of multiple changes at the transcriptional level, GABA-A receptor signaling and synaptic transmission in sleep-related basal forebrain and the hypothalamus.