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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017, Article ID 5870735, 16 pages
Review Article

Neural Plasticity Is Involved in Physiological Sleep, Depressive Sleep Disturbances, and Antidepressant Treatments

Department of Pharmacology and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Bioactive Small Molecules, School of Basic Medical Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Institutes of Brain Science and Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yi-Qun Wang; nc.ude.naduf@gnawnuqiy and Zhi-Li Huang; nc.ude.naduf@lzgnauh

Received 6 April 2017; Revised 27 June 2017; Accepted 13 July 2017; Published 18 October 2017

Academic Editor: Bingjin Li

Copyright © 2017 Meng-Qi 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.


Depression, which is characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood and anhedonia, greatly impacts patients, their families, and society. The associated and recurring sleep disturbances further reduce patient’s quality of life. However, therapeutic sleep deprivation has been regarded as a rapid and robust antidepressant treatment for several decades, which suggests a complicated role of sleep in development of depression. Changes in neural plasticity are observed during physiological sleep, therapeutic sleep deprivation, and depression. This correlation might help us to understand better the mechanism underlying development of depression and the role of sleep. In this review, we first introduce the structure of sleep and the facilitated neural plasticity caused by physiological sleep. Then, we introduce sleep disturbances and changes in plasticity in patients with depression. Finally, the effects and mechanisms of antidepressants and therapeutic sleep deprivation on neural plasticity are discussed.