The effects of leptin on REM sleep and slow wave delta in rats are reversed by food deprivation

Christopher M. Sinton, Thomas E. Fitch, Howard K. Gershenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Leptin (ob protein) is an adipose tissue derived circulating hormone that acts at specific receptors in the hypothalamus to reduce food intake. The protein is also critically involved in energy balance and metabolic status. Here the effect of leptin on sleep architecture in rats was evaluated because food consumption and metabolic status are known to influence sleep. Sprague-Dawley rats were chronically implanted with electrodes for EEG and EMG recording and diurnal sleep parameters were quantified over 9-h periods following leptin administration. Murine recombinant leptin (rMuLep) was administered systemically to rats that either had undergone 18 h of prior food deprivation or had received food ad libitum. In the normally fed rats, leptin significantly decreased the duration of rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) by about 30% and increased the duration of slow wave sleep (SWS) by about 13%, the latter effect reflecting enhanced power in the delta frequency band. These results are consistent with studies that have linked changes in metabolic rate with effects on sleep. Leptin administration has previously been shown to alter neuroendocrine parameters that could have mediated these changes in sleep architecture. Unexpectedly, prior food deprivation negated the effect of leptin on both REMS and SWS, a result that emphasizes the significance of the apparent coupling between sleep parameters and energy status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • CRF energy balance
  • HPA insulin
  • Metabolic status
  • Somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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