Comparison of MK-801 and sleep deprivation effects on NREM, REM, and waking spectra in the rat

Sleep. 1999 Jun 15;22(4):423-32. doi: 10.1093/sleep/22.4.423.


In previous studies, we showed that blockade of the cation channel gated by NMDA glutamate receptors with ketamine or MK-801 massively stimulates NREM delta. We now test whether this NREM delta stimulation is physiological by comparing the EEG response following MK-801 to the EEG response following sleep deprivation (SD). Our previous studies measured only NREM 1-4 Hz EEG with period-amplitude analysis (PAA). Here we extended the analysis of MK-801 effects on sleep EEG by applying power spectral analysis (PSA) to examine delta and higher frequency spectra (.2-100 Hz) in NREM and by including REM and waking spectra. The changes in EEG spectra following MK-801 and SD were remarkably similar. Both SD and MK-801 produced their largest changes in NREM delta and REM 10-20 Hz power. There were some differences in the high frequency EEG, but the overall similarity of the PSA spectra in all three vigilance states after MK-801 and SD supports the possibility that MK-801 stimulated physiologic sleep, perhaps by increasing the need for homeostatic recovery from the metabolic effects of NMDA channel blockade.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • N-Methylaspartate / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects*
  • Wakefulness / drug effects*


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Dizocilpine Maleate