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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 801341, 14 pages
Review Article

Sleep Loss as a Factor to Induce Cellular and Molecular Inflammatory Variations

1Area of Neurosciences, Department of Biology of Reproduction, CBS, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, Avenida San Rafael Atlixco No. 186, Colonia Vicentina, Iztapalapa, 09340 Mexico City, Mexico
2Department of Psychoimmunology, National Institute of Psychiatry, “Ramón de la Fuente”, Calzada México-Xochimilco 101, Colonia San Lorenzo Huipulco, Tlalpan, 14370 Mexico City, DF, Mexico

Received 26 July 2013; Revised 19 October 2013; Accepted 21 October 2013

Academic Editor: Marco Antonio Velasco-Velázquez

Copyright © 2013 Gabriela Hurtado-Alvarado 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.


A reduction in the amount of time spent sleeping occurs chronically in modern society. Clinical and experimental studies in humans and animal models have shown that immune function is impaired when sleep loss is experienced. Sleep loss exerts a strong regulatory influence on peripheral levels of inflammatory mediators of the immune response. An increasing number of research projects support the existence of reciprocal regulation between sleep and low-intensity inflammatory response. Recent studies show that sleep deficient humans and rodents exhibit a proinflammatory component; therefore, sleep loss is considered as a risk factor for developing cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis). Circulating levels of proinflammatory mediators depend on the intensity and duration of the method employed to induce sleep loss. Recognizing the fact that the concentration of proinflammatory mediators is different between acute and chronic sleep-loss may expand the understanding of the relationship between sleep and the immune response. The aim of this review is to integrate data from recent published reports (2002–2013) on the effects of sleep loss on the immune response. This review may allow readers to have an integrated view of the mechanisms involved in central and peripheral deficits induced by sleep loss.