Browsing by Author "Wigren, Henna-Kaisa"

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  • Wigren, Henna-Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Sleep is governed by a homeostatic process in which the duration and quality of previous wake regulate the subsequent sleep. Active wakefulness is characterized with high frequency cortical oscillations and depends on stimulating influence of the arousal systems, such as the cholinergic basal forebrain (BF), while cessation of the activity in the arousal systems is required for slow wave sleep (SWS) to occur. The site-specific accumulation of adenosine (a by-product of ATP breakdown) in the BF during prolonged waking /sleep deprivation (SD) is known to induce sleep, thus coupling energy demand to sleep promotion. The adenosine release in the BF is accompanied with increases in extracellular lactate and nitric oxide (NO) levels. This thesis was aimed at further understanding the cellular processes by which the BF is involved in sleep-wake regulation and how these processes are affected by aging. The BF function was studied simultaneously at three levels of organization: 1) locally at a cellular level by measuring energy metabolites 2) globally at a cortical level (the out-put area of the BF) by measuring EEG oscillations and 3) at a behavioral level by studying changes in vigilance states. Study I showed that wake-promoting BF activation, particularly with glutamate receptor agonist N-methyl-D-aspatate (NMDA), increased extracellular adenosine and lactate levels and led to a homeostatic increase in the subsequent sleep. Blocking NMDA activation during SD reduced the high frequency (HF) EEG theta (7-9 Hz) power and attenuated the subsequent sleep. In aging, activation of the BF during SD or experimentally with NMDA (studies III, IV), did not induce lactate or adenosine release and the increases in the HF EEG theta power during SD and SWS during the subsequent sleep were attenuated as compared to the young. These findings implicate that increased or continuous BF activity is important for active wake maintenance during SD as well as for the generation of homeostatic sleep pressure, and that in aging these mechanisms are impaired. Study II found that induction of the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) during SD is accompanied with activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the BF. Because decreased cellular energy charge is the most common cause for AMPK activation, this finding implicates that the BF is selectively sensitive to the metabolic demands of SD as increases were not found in the cortex. In aging (study III), iNOS expression and extracellular levels of NO and adenosine were not significantly increased during SD in the BF. Furthermore, infusion of NO donor into the BF did not lead to sleep promotion as it did in the young. These findings indicated that the NO (and adenosine) mediated sleep induction is impaired in aging and that it could at least partly be due to the reduced sensitivity of the BF to sleep-inducing factors. Taken together, these findings show that reduced sleep promotion by the BF contributes to the attenuated homeostatic sleep response in aging.