Plasticity-Related Gene Expression During Eszopiclone-Induced Sleep

SRI author:


Gerashchenko DG, Pasumarthi R, Kilduff TS (2017). Plasticity-Related Gene Expression During Eszopiclone-Induced Sleep. Sleep 40(7) Jul 1. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx098.


Study objectives:

Experimental evidence suggests that restorative processes depend on synaptic plasticity changes in the brain during sleep. We used the expression of plasticity-related genes to assess synaptic plasticity changes during drug-induced sleep.


We first characterized sleep induced by eszopiclone in mice during baseline conditions and during the recovery from sleep deprivation. We then compared the expression of 18 genes and two miRNAs critically involved in synaptic plasticity in these mice. Gene expression was assessed in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus by the TaqMan reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and correlated with sleep parameters.


Eszopiclone reduced the latency to nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and increased NREM sleep amounts. Eszopiclone had no effect on slow wave activity (SWA) during baseline conditions but reduced the SWA increase during recovery sleep (RS) after sleep deprivation. Gene expression analyses revealed three distinct patterns: (1) four genes had higher expression either in the cortex or hippocampus in the group of mice with increased amounts of wakefulness; (2) a large proportion of plasticity-related genes (7 out of 18 genes) had higher expression during RS in the cortex but not in the hippocampus; and (3) six genes and the two miRNAs showed no significant changes across conditions. Even at a relatively high dose (20 mg/kg), eszopiclone did not reduce the expression of plasticity-related genes during RS period in the cortex.

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