Sleep deprivation inhibits adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus by elevating glucocorticoids

Christian Mirescu, Jennifer D. Peters, Liron Noiman, Elizabeth Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Prolonged sleep deprivation is stressful and has been associated with adverse consequences for health and cognitive performance. Here, we show that sleep deprivation inhibits adult neurogenesis at a time when circulating levels of corticosterone are elevated. Moreover, clamping levels of this hormone prevents the sleep deprivation-induced reduction of cell proliferation. The recovery of normal levels of adult neurogenesis after chronic sleep deprivation occurs over a 2-wk period and involves a temporary increase in new neuron formation. This compensatory increase is dissociated from glucocorticoid levels as well as from the restoration of normal sleep patterns. Collectively, these findings suggest that, although sleep deprivation inhibits adult neurogenesis by acting as a stressor, its compensatory aftereffects involve glucocorticoid-independent factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19170-19175
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 12 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Adrenal steroids
  • Cell proliferation
  • Corticosterone
  • Dentate gyrus
  • Stress


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