Sleep and behavior during vesicular stomatitis virus induced encephalitis in BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J mice

Brain Behav Immun. 2014 Jan:35:125-34. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.09.006. Epub 2013 Sep 18.


Intranasal application of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) produces a well-characterized model of viral encephalitis in mice. Within one day post-infection (PI), VSV travels to the olfactory bulb and, over the course of 7 days, it infects regions and tracts extending into the brainstem followed by clearance and recovery in most mice by PI day 14 (PI 14). Infectious diseases are commonly accompanied by excessive sleepiness; thus, sleep is considered a component of the acute phase response to infection. In this project, we studied the relationship between sleep and VSV infection using C57BL/6 (B6) and BALB/c mice. Mice were implanted with transmitters for recording EEG, activity and temperature by telemetry. After uninterrupted baseline recordings were collected for 2 days, each animal was infected intranasally with a single low dose of VSV (5×10(4) PFU). Sleep was recorded for 15 consecutive days and analyzed on PI 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14. Compared to baseline, amounts of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) were increased in B6 mice during the dark period of PI 1-5, whereas rapid eye movement sleep (REM) was significantly reduced during the light periods of PI 0-14. In contrast, BALB/c mice showed significantly fewer changes in NREM and REM. These data demonstrate sleep architecture is differentially altered in these mouse strains and suggests that, in B6 mice, VSV can alter sleep before virus progresses into brain regions that control sleep.

Keywords: Encephalitis; Mice; Sleep; Vesicular stomatitis virus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Encephalitis, Viral / physiopathology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / psychology*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / virology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / physiopathology
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / psychology*
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / virology
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus*