Sleep deprivation reduces the density of individual spine subtypes in a branch-specific fashion in CA1 neurons

Youri G Bolsius, Peter Meerlo, Martien J Kas, Ted Abel*, Robbert Havekes*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on hippocampus-dependent memory, which is thought to depend on cellular plasticity. We previously found that 5 h of sleep deprivation robustly decreases dendritic spine density in the CA1 area of the hippocampus in adult male mice. However, recent work by others suggests that sleep deprivation increases the density of certain spine types on specific dendritic branches. Based on these recent findings and our previous work, we conducted a more in-depth analysis of different spine types on branches 1, 2 and 5 of both apical and basal dendrites to assess whether 5 h of sleep deprivation may have previously unrecognized spine-type and branch-specific effects. This analysis shows no spine-type specific changes on branch 1 and 2 of apical dendrites after sleep deprivation. In contrast, sleep deprivation decreases the number of mushroom and branched spines on branch 5. Likewise, sleep deprivation reduces thin, mushroom and filopodia spine density on branch 5 of the basal dendrites, without affecting spines on branch 1 and 2. Our findings indicate that sleep deprivation leads to local branch-specific reduction in the density of individual spine types, and that local effects might not reflect the overall impact of sleep deprivation on CA1 structural plasticity. Moreover, our analysis underscores that focusing on a subset of dendritic branches may lead to potential misinterpretation of the overall impact of, in this case, sleep deprivation on structural plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13438
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number1
Early online date15-Jul-2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2022

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