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Dopaminergic role in regulating neurophysiological markers of sleep homeostasis in humans


Holst, Sebastian C; Bersagliere, Alessia; Bachmann, Valérie; Berger, Wolfgang; Achermann, Peter; Landolt, Hans-Peter (2014). Dopaminergic role in regulating neurophysiological markers of sleep homeostasis in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 2(34):566-573.

Abstract

While dopamine affects fundamental brain processes such as movement control, emotional responses, addiction, and pain, the roles for this neurotransmitter in regulating wakefulness and sleep are incompletely understood. Genetically modified animal models with reduced dopamine clearance exhibit hypersensitivity to caffeine, reduced-responsiveness to modafinil, and increased homeostatic response to prolonged wakefulness when compared with wild-type animals. Here we studied sleep-wake regulation in humans and combined pharmacogenetic and neurophysiologic methods to analyze the effects of the 3'-UTR variable-number-tandem-repeat polymorphism of the gene (DAT1, SLC6A3) encoding dopamine transporter (DAT). Previous research demonstrated that healthy homozygous 10-repeat (10R/10R) allele carriers of this genetic variant have reduced striatal DAT protein expression when compared with 9-repeat (9R) allele carriers. Objective and subjective estimates of caffeine sensitivity were higher in 10R allele homozygotes than in carriers of the 9R allele. Moreover, caffeine and modafinil affected wakefulness-induced changes in functional bands (delta, sigma, beta) of rhythmic brain activity in wakefulness and sleep in a DAT1 genotype-dependent manner. Finally, the sleep deprivation-induced increase in well established neurophysiologic markers of sleep homeostasis, including slow-wave sleep, electroencephalographic slow-wave activity (0.5-4.5 Hz), and number of low-frequency (0.5-2.0 Hz) oscillations in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, was significantly larger in the 10R/10R genotype than in the 9R allele carriers of DAT1. Together, the data suggest that the dopamine transporter contributes to homeostatic sleep-wake regulation in humans.

Abstract

While dopamine affects fundamental brain processes such as movement control, emotional responses, addiction, and pain, the roles for this neurotransmitter in regulating wakefulness and sleep are incompletely understood. Genetically modified animal models with reduced dopamine clearance exhibit hypersensitivity to caffeine, reduced-responsiveness to modafinil, and increased homeostatic response to prolonged wakefulness when compared with wild-type animals. Here we studied sleep-wake regulation in humans and combined pharmacogenetic and neurophysiologic methods to analyze the effects of the 3'-UTR variable-number-tandem-repeat polymorphism of the gene (DAT1, SLC6A3) encoding dopamine transporter (DAT). Previous research demonstrated that healthy homozygous 10-repeat (10R/10R) allele carriers of this genetic variant have reduced striatal DAT protein expression when compared with 9-repeat (9R) allele carriers. Objective and subjective estimates of caffeine sensitivity were higher in 10R allele homozygotes than in carriers of the 9R allele. Moreover, caffeine and modafinil affected wakefulness-induced changes in functional bands (delta, sigma, beta) of rhythmic brain activity in wakefulness and sleep in a DAT1 genotype-dependent manner. Finally, the sleep deprivation-induced increase in well established neurophysiologic markers of sleep homeostasis, including slow-wave sleep, electroencephalographic slow-wave activity (0.5-4.5 Hz), and number of low-frequency (0.5-2.0 Hz) oscillations in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, was significantly larger in the 10R/10R genotype than in the 9R allele carriers of DAT1. Together, the data suggest that the dopamine transporter contributes to homeostatic sleep-wake regulation in humans.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:8 January 2014
Deposited On:07 Mar 2014 15:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:25
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN:0270-6474
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4128-13.2014
PubMed ID:24403155

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