Absent sleep EEG spindle activity in GluA1 (Gria1) knockout mice: relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders.
Ang G., McKillop LE., Purple R., Blanco-Duque C., Peirson SN., Foster RG., Harrison PJ., Sprengel R., Davies KE., Oliver PL., Bannerman DM., Vyazovskiy VV.
Sleep EEG spindles have been implicated in attention, sensory processing, synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation. In humans, deficits in sleep spindles have been reported in a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Genome-wide association studies have suggested a link between schizophrenia and genes associated with synaptic plasticity, including the Gria1 gene which codes for the GluA1 subunit of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor. Gria1-/- mice exhibit a phenotype relevant for neuropsychiatric disorders, including reduced synaptic plasticity and, at the behavioural level, attentional deficits leading to aberrant salience. In this study we report a striking reduction of EEG power density including the spindle-frequency range (10-15 Hz) during sleep in Gria1-/- mice. The reduction of spindle-activity in Gria1-/- mice was accompanied by longer REM sleep episodes, increased EEG slow-wave activity in the occipital derivation during baseline sleep, and a reduced rate of decline of EEG slow wave activity (0.5-4 Hz) during NREM sleep after sleep deprivation. These data provide a novel link between glutamatergic dysfunction and sleep abnormalities in a schizophrenia-relevant mouse model.