Histone methylation/demethylation plays an important modulatory role in chromatin restructuring, RNA transcription and is essential for controlling a plethora of biological processes. Due to many human diseases have been related to histone methylation/demethylation, several compounds such as 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep) or 3-((6-(4,5-Dihydro-1H-benzo[d]azepin-3(2H)-yl)-2-(pyridin-2-yl)pyrimidin-4-yl)amino)propanoic acid; N-[2-(2-pyridinyl)-6-(1,2,4,5-tetrahydro-3H-3-benzazepin-3-yl)-4-pyrimidinyl]-β-Alanine (GSK-J1), have been designed to inhibit histone methylase or suppress histone demethylase, respectively. In the present study, we investigated the effects on the sleep-wake cycle and sleep-related neurochemical levels after systemic injections of DZNep or GSK-J1 given during the light or dark phase in rats. DZNep dose-dependently (0.1, 1.0, or 10 mg/kg, i.p.) prolonged wakefulness (W) duration while decreased slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) time spent during the lights-on period with no changes observed in dark phase. In opposite direction, GSK-J1 (0.1, 1.0, or 10 mg/kg, i.p.) injected at the beginning of the lights-on period induced no statistical changes in W, SWS, or REMS whereas if administered at darkness, we found a diminution in W and an enhancement in SWS and REMS. Finally, brain microdialysis experiments in freely moving animals were used to evaluate the effects of DZNep or GSK-J1 treatments on contents of sleep-related neurochemicals. The results showed that DZNep boosted extracellular levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, adenosine, and acetylcholine if injected at the beginning of the lights-on period whereas GSK-J1 exerted similar outcomes but when administered at darkness. In summary, DZNep and GSK-J1 may control the sleep-wake cycle and sleep-related neurochemicals through histone methylation/demethylation activity.
Keywords: adenosine; dopamine; histone demethylation; serotonin; sleep; wakefulness.