Effects of Social Defeat Stress on Sleep in Mice.

TitleEffects of Social Defeat Stress on Sleep in Mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHenderson F, Vialou V, Mestikawy SEl, Fabre V
JournalFront Behav Neurosci
Date Published2017

Stress plays a key role in the development of psychiatric disorders and has a negative impact on sleep integrity. In mice, chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) is an ethologically valid model of stress-related disorders but little is known about its effects on sleep regulation. Here, we investigated the immediate and long-term effects of 10 consecutive days of social defeat (SD) on vigilance states in C57Bl/6J male mice. Social behavior was assessed to identify susceptible mice, i.e., mice that develop long-lasting social avoidance, and unsusceptible mice. Sleep-wake stages in mice of both groups were analyzed by means of polysomnographic recordings at baseline, after the first, third, and tenth stress sessions and on the 5th recovery day (R5) following the 10-day CSDS. In susceptible mice, each SD session produced biphasic changes in sleep-wake states that were preserved all along 10-day CSDS. These sessions elicited a short-term enhancement of wake time while rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep was strongly inhibited. Concomitantly, delta power was increased during non REM (NREM) sleep. During the following dark period, an increase in total sleep time, as well as wake fragmentation, were observed after each analyzed SD session. Similar changes were observed in unsusceptible mice. At R5, elevated high-frequency EEG activity, as observed in insomniacs, emerged during NREM sleep in both susceptible and unsusceptible groups suggesting that CSDS impaired sleep quality. Furthermore, susceptible but not unsusceptible mice displayed stress-anticipatory arousal during recovery, a common feature of anxiety disorders. Altogether, our findings show that CSDS has profound impacts on vigilance states and further support that sleep is tightly regulated by exposure to stressful events. They also revealed that susceptibility to chronic psychological stress is associated with heightened arousal, a physiological feature of stress vulnerability.

Alternate JournalFront Behav Neurosci
PubMed ID29234278
PubMed Central IDPMC5712311