Association between the activation of MCH and orexin immunorective neurons and REM sleep architecture during REM rebound after a three day long REM deprivation

Tamas Kitka, Csaba Adori, Zita Katai, Szilvia Vas, Eszter Molnar, Rege S. Papp, Zsuzsanna E. Toth, Gyorgy Bagdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep rebound following REM deprivation using the platform-on-water method is characterized by increased time spent in REM sleep and activation of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) expressing neurons. Orexinergic neurons discharge reciprocally to MCH-ergic neurons across the sleep-wake cycle. However, the relation between REM architecture and the aforementioned neuropeptides remained unclear. MCH-ergic neurons can be divided into two subpopulations regarding their cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) immunoreactivity, and among them the activation of CART-immunoreactive subpopulation is higher during the REM rebound. However, the possible role of stress in this association has not been elucidated. Our aims were to analyze the relationship between the architecture of REM rebound and the activation of hypothalamic MCH-ergic and orexinergic neurons. We also intended to separate the effect of stress and REM deprivation on the subsequent activation of subpopulations of MCH-ergic neurons. In order to detect neuronal activity, we performed MCH/cFos and orexin/cFos double immunohistochemistry on home cage, sleep deprived and sleep-rebound rats using the platform-on-water method with small and large (stress control) platforms. Furthermore, REM architecture was analyzed and a triple MCH/CART/cFos immunohistochemistry was also performed on the rebound groups in the same animals. We found that the activity of MCH- and orexin-immunoreactive neurons during REM rebound was positively and negatively correlated with the number of REM bouts, respectively. A negative reciprocal correlation was also found between the activation of MCH- and orexin-immunoreactive neurons during REM rebound. Furthermore, difference between the activation of CART-immunoreactive (CART-IR) and non-CART- immunoreactive MCH-ergic neuron subpopulations was found only after selective REM deprivation, it was absent in the large platform (stress control) rebound group. These results support the role of CART-IR subpopulation of MCH-ergic neurons and the inverse relationship of MCH and orexin in the regulation of REM sleep after REM sleep deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-694
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemistry international
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2011


  • CART
  • EEG
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MCH
  • Orexin
  • REM sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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