Study Title:

Sleep Loss and Inflammation

Study Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that sleep disturbance is associated with inflammation and related disorders including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes mellitus. This study was undertaken to test the effects of sleep loss on activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, a transcription factor that serves a critical role in the inflammatory signaling cascade.

In 14 healthy adults (seven women; seven men), peripheral blood mononuclear cell NF-κB was repeatedly assessed, along with enumeration of lymphocyte subpopulations, in the morning after baseline sleep, partial sleep deprivation (awake from 11 pm to 3:00 am), and recovery sleep.

In the morning after a night of sleep loss, mononuclear cell NF-κB activation was significantly greater compared with morning levels following uninterrupted baseline or recovery sleep, in which the response was found in female but not in male subjects.

These results identify NF-κB activation as a molecular pathway by which sleep disturbance may influence leukocyte inflammatory gene expression and the risk of inflammation-related disease.

From press release:

Study Information

Michael R. Irwin, Minge Wang, Denise Ribeiro, Hyong Jin Cho, Richard Olmstead, Elizabeth Crabb Breen, Otoniel Martinez-Maza, and Steve Cole.
Sleep Loss Activates Cellular Inflammatory Signaling.
Biological Psychiatry.
2008 September
Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles, in Los Angeles, California.

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