Hypersomnolence and reduced activity in pan-leptin receptor knockout mice

J Mol Neurosci. 2013 Nov;51(3):1038-45. doi: 10.1007/s12031-013-0093-6. Epub 2013 Aug 18.


Excessive obesity correlates with hypersomnolence and impaired cognitive function, presumably induced by metabolic factors and cytokines. Production of the adipokine leptin correlates with the amount of adiposity, and leptin has been shown to promote sleep. To determine whether leptin plays a major role in the hypersomnolence of obesity, we measured sleep architecture in pan-leptin receptor knockout (POKO) mice that do not respond to leptin because of the production of a mutant, non-signaling receptor. The obese POKO mice had more non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and less waking time than their littermate controls. This was mainly seen during the light span, although increased bouts of rapid eye movement sleep were also seen in the dark span. The increase of NREM sleep correlated with the extent of obesity. The POKO mice also had decreased locomotor activity and more immobility in the open field test, but there was no increase of forced immobility nor reduction of sucrose intake as would be seen in depression. The increased NREM sleep and reduced locomotor activity in the POKO mice suggest that it was obesity, rather than leptin signaling, that played a predominant role in altering sleep architecture and activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / etiology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / genetics*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Activity*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Receptors, Leptin / genetics*
  • Sleep, REM
  • Wakefulness


  • Receptors, Leptin