Background: The sleep sequence: i) non-REM sleep, ii) REM sleep, and iii) wakefulness, is stable and widely preserved in mammals, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. It has been shown that this sequence is disrupted by sudden REM sleep onset during active wakefulness (i.e., narcolepsy) in orexin-deficient mutant animals. Phospholipase C (PLC) mediates the signaling of numerous metabotropic receptors, including orexin receptors. Among the several PLC subtypes, the b4 subtype is uniquely localized in the geniculate nucleus of thalamus which is hypothesized to have a critical role in the transition and maintenance of sleep stages. In fact, we have reported irregular theta wave frequency during REM sleep in PLC-β4-deficient mutant (PLC-β4-/ -) mice. Daily behavioral phenotypes and metabotropic receptors involved have not been analyzed in detail in PLC-β4-/- mice, however. Methodology/Principal Findings: Therefore, we analyzed 24-h sleep electroencephalogram in PLC-β4-/- mice. PLC-β4-/- mice exhibited normal non-REM sleep both during the day and nighttime. PLC-β4-/- mice, however, exhibited increased REM sleep during the night, their active period. Also, their sleep was fragmented with unusual wake-to-REM sleep transitions, both during the day and nighttime. In addition, PLC-β4-/- mice reduced ultradian body temperature rhythms and elevated body temperatures during the daytime, but had normal homeothermal response to acute shifts in ambient temperatures (22°C-4°C). Within the most likely brain areas to produce these behavioral phenotypes, we found that, not orexin, but group-1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-mediated Ca2+ mobilization was significantly reduced in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) of PLC-β4-/- mice. Voltage clamp recordings revealed that group-1 mGluR-mediated currents in LGNd relay neurons (inward in wild-type mice) were outward in PLC-β4-/- mice. Conclusions/Significance: These lines of evidence indicate that impaired LGNd relay, possibly mediated via group-1 mGluR, may underlie irregular sleep sequences and ultradian body temperature rhythms in PLC-β4-/- mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)