Publications (2)5.69 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Chronic exposure to an environmental noise (EN) induces sleep disturbances. However, discrepancies exist in the literature since many contradictory conclusions have been reported. These disagreements are largely due to inappropriate evaluation of sleep and also to uncontrolled and confounding factors such as sex, age and also inter-individual vulnerability. Based on a recently validated animal model, aims of the present study were (i) to determine the effects of a chronic exposure to EN on sleep and (ii) to evaluate the inter-individual vulnerability of sleep to EN. For this purpose, rats were exposed during 9 days to EN. Results show that a chronic exposure to EN restricts continually amounts of slow wave sleep (SWS) and paradoxical sleep (PS) and fragments these two sleep stages with no habituation effect. Results also evidence the existence of subpopulations of rats that are either resistant or vulnerable to these deleterious effects of EN on sleep and especially on SWS amounts, bouts number and bout duration. Furthermore, importance of SWS debt and daily decrease of SWS bout duration are correlated to each others and both correlate to the amplitude of the locomotor reactivity to novelty, a behavioral measure of reactivity to stress. This last result suggests that this psychobiological profile of subjects, known to induce profound differences in neural and endocrine systems, could be responsible for their SWS vulnerability under a chronic EN exposure.
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ABSTRACT: Sleep disturbances induced by environmental noise (EN) exposure are now well admitted. However, many contradictory conclusions and discrepancies have been reported, resulting from uncontrolled human factors or the use of artificial noises (pure tone). Thus, the development of an animal model appears to be a useful strategy for determining whether EN is deleterious to sleep. The aims of this study were: (i) to confirm the effects of noise on sleep in a rat model; and (ii) to determine the most deleterious physical component of noise regarding sleep structure. For this purpose, rats were exposed during 24 h either to EN or to artificial broad-band noises [either continuous broad-band noise (CBBN) or intermittent broad-band noise (IBBN)]. All the noises decrease both slow wave sleep (SWS) and paradoxical sleep (PS) amounts during the first hours of exposure. However, CBBN acts indirectly on PS through a reduction of SWS bout duration, whereas IBBN and EN disturb directly and more strongly both SWS and PS. Finally, EN fragments SWS and decreases PS amount during the dark period, whereas IBBN only fragments PS. These results demonstrate the validity and suitability of a rodent model for studying the effects of noise on sleep and definitively show that sleep is disturbed by EN exposure. Two physical factors seem to be implicated: the intermittency and the frequency spectrum of the noise events, which both induce long-lasting sleep disturbances. An additive effect of frequency spectrum to intermittency tends to abolish all possible adaptations to EN exposure. Since sleep is involved in cognitive processes, such disturbances could lead to cognitive deficits.
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Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et CellulaireStrasburg, Alsace, France