Increased levels of tyrosine hydroxylase and glutamic acid decarboxylase in locus coeruleus neurons after rapid eye movement sleep deprivation in rats

Neurosci Lett. 2003 Mar 6;338(3):193-6. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(02)01404-0.


Norepinephrine, acetylcholine and GABA levels alter during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and its deprivation. Increased synthesis of those neurotransmitters is necessary for their sustained release. Hence, in this study, the concentrations of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzymes responsible for their synthesis, were immunohistochemically estimated within the neurons in locus coeruleus, laterodorsal tegmentum and pedunculopontine tegmentum and medial preoptic area in REM sleep deprived and control rats. It was observed that as compared to controls, deprivation increased TH and GAD significantly in the locus coeruleus only, while in other areas, they remained unchanged. The findings help explaining the mechanism of increase in neurotransmitter levels in the brain after REM sleep deprivation and their significance has been discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Locus Coeruleus / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / enzymology*
  • Preoptic Area / enzymology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sleep Deprivation / enzymology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / enzymology
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*


  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase