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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7919534, 8 pages
Research Article

Sleep Deprivation Influences Circadian Gene Expression in the Lateral Habenula

1Department of Physiology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2Neuroscience Research Center, First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China

Received 23 March 2016; Accepted 22 May 2016

Academic Editor: Barbara Picconi

Copyright © 2016 Beilin Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sleep is governed by homeostasis and the circadian clock. Clock genes play an important role in the generation and maintenance of circadian rhythms but are also involved in regulating sleep homeostasis. The lateral habenular nucleus (LHb) has been implicated in sleep-wake regulation, since LHb gene expression demonstrates circadian oscillation characteristics. This study focuses on the participation of LHb clock genes in regulating sleep homeostasis, as the nature of their involvement is unclear. In this study, we observed changes in sleep pattern following sleep deprivation in LHb-lesioned rats using EEG recording techniques. And then the changes of clock gene expression (Per1, Per2, and Bmal1) in the LHb after 6 hours of sleep deprivation were detected by using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). We found that sleep deprivation increased the length of Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREMS) and decreased wakefulness. LHb-lesioning decreased the amplitude of reduced wake time and increased NREMS following sleep deprivation in rats. qPCR results demonstrated that Per2 expression was elevated after sleep deprivation, while the other two genes were unaffected. Following sleep recovery, Per2 expression was comparable to the control group. This study provides the basis for further research on the role of LHb Per2 gene in the regulation of sleep homeostasis.