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Sleep and waking modulate spine turnover in the adolescent mouse cortex


Cortical development involves synaptic formation and elimination. Although synaptogenesis predominates in the early stages and pruning in the later stages, the two processes are thought to happen concurrently. In adults, synaptic strength is modulated by behavioral state, and we asked whether synaptic remodeling may be affected by sleep and waking states. Using two-photon microscopy in adolescent mice, we found that waking results in a net increase in cortical spines, whereas sleep is associated with net spine loss.

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Figure 1: Sleep and synaptic pruning.


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This study was supported by a US National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer award (to G.T.) and the National Institute of Mental Health (1R01MH091326 to G.T. and C.C.).

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C.C. and G.T. designed the experiments, analyzed the data and wrote the paper. S.M. and U.F. performed the experiments, analyzed the data and contributed to the manuscript. A.B.N. gathered EEG pilot data.

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Correspondence to Chiara Cirelli or Giulio Tononi.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Supplementary Figures 1–3 and Supplementary Discussion and Supplementary Results (PDF 1242 kb)

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Maret, S., Faraguna, U., Nelson, A. et al. Sleep and waking modulate spine turnover in the adolescent mouse cortex. Nat Neurosci 14, 1418–1420 (2011).

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