Sleep deprivation elevates plasma corticosterone levels in neonatal rats

Ilana S. Hairston, Norman F. Ruby, Sheila Brooke, Christelle Peyron, Daniel P. Denning, H. Craig Heller, Robert M. Sapolsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels were measured after short periods of sleep deprivation in rats at postnatal days 12, 16, 20, and 24. There was an age-dependent increase in basal CORT levels and sleep deprivation significantly elevated CORT at all ages compared to non-sleep deprived controls. The levels of CORT after sleep deprivation in P16, P20 and P24 animals were similar, resulting in an age-dependent decrease of the magnitude of the response. Sleep deprived P12 animals had lower levels of CORT. However, the observed response to sleep deprivation suggests that sleep loss is a significant stressor at this age. These observations suggest that younger animals are more sensitive to the effects of mild sleep deprivation than older ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 23 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Corticosterone
  • Development
  • Neonatal rats
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stress
  • Stress-hyporesponsive period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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