Long-term history and immediate preceding state affect EEG slow wave characteristics at NREM sleep onset in C57BL/6 mice.
Cui N., Mckillop LE., Fisher SP., Oliver PL., Vyazovskiy VV.
The dynamics of cortical activity across the 24-h day and at vigilance state transitions is regulated by an interaction between global subcortical neuromodulatory influences and local shifts in network synchrony and excitability. To address the role of long-term and immediate preceding history in local and global cortical dynamics, we investigated cortical EEG recorded from both frontal and occipital regions during an undisturbed 24-h recording in mice. As expected, at the beginning of the light period, under physiologically increased sleep pressure, EEG slow waves were more frequent and had higher amplitude and slopes, compared to the rest of the light period. Within discrete NREM sleep episodes, the incidence, amplitude and slopes of individual slow waves increased progressively after episode onset in both derivations by approximately 10-30%. Interestingly, at the beginning of NREM sleep episodes slow waves in the frontal and occipital derivations frequently occurred in isolation, as quantified by longer latencies between consecutive slow waves in the two regions. Notably, slow waves during the initial period of NREM sleep following REM sleep episodes were significantly less frequent, lower in amplitude and exhibited shallower slopes, compared to those that occurred in NREM episodes after prolonged waking. Moreover, the latencies between consecutive frontal and occipital NREM slow waves were substantially longer when they occurred directly after REM sleep compared to following consolidated wakefulness. Overall these data reveal a complex picture, where both time of day and preceding state contribute to the characteristics and dynamics of slow waves within NREM sleep. These findings suggest that NREM sleep initiates in a more "local" fashion when it occurs following REM sleep episodes as opposed to sustained waking bouts. While the mechanisms and functional significance of such a re-setting of brain state after individual REM sleep episodes remains to be investigated, we suggest that it may be an essential feature of physiological sleep regulation.