Sleep in the Wistar-Kyoto rat, a putative genetic animal model for depression

Christine Dugovic*, Leah C. Solberg, Eva Redei, Olivier Van Reeth, Fred W. Turek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat exhibits several behavioral and hormonal abnormalities often associated with depression. One of the hallmarks of depression consists of alterations in the sleep-wake cycle, particularly in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. If the WKY rat is indeed an animal model for depression, we hypothesized that it should also show sleep abnormalities relative to the control strain, the Wistar (WIS) rat. Under baseline conditions, WKY rats showed a 50% increase in total REM sleep time during the 12 h light phase and an increase in sleep fragmentation during both the light and dark phase. The WKY rats also exhibited lower EEG power densities over the entire frequency range (0.2-25.0 Hz) during REM sleep. After a 6 h sleep deprivation, the REM sleep rebound was more pronounced during the dark but not the light phase in the WKY rats. Since the WKY rat represents a genetic model for depression with altered EEG sleep patterns, this strain may be particularly useful for investigating the relationship between depression and sleep abnormalities. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-631
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Depression
  • REM sleep
  • Wistar-Kyoto rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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