Impact of rapid eye movement sleep deprivation during pregnancy on survival, oxidative status and corticosterone level in offspring of Wistar rats
Background: Prenatal exposure to sleep deprivation involves complex communication between the maternal compartment, placenta, and the growing fetus. This study explored the role of rapid eye movement sleep deprivation (REMSD) during different pregnancy stages on survival, blood pressure, corticosterone, oxidative stress indices, and C-reactive protein in sleep-deprived dams and their offspring.
Methods: To investigate this, 10 pregnant rats (respectively) were subjected to REMSD from gestational day 1 (GD 1) - 20, GD 7 - 20, and GD 14 - 20. After parturition, on postnatal days 1 and 60, blood pressure was determined in dams and offspring, respectively. Serum and heart tissues were collected to determine circulating corticosterone, C-reactive protein, malondialdehyde, and levels of antioxidant enzymes.
Results: Values of corticosterone, mean arterial blood pressure, and malondialdehyde in the offspring showed comparable patterns of increase observed in their sleep-deprived mothers. Similarly, values of corticosterone, mean arterial blood pressure, malondialdehyde, and antioxidant enzymes in sleep-deprived dams and their offspring presented a positive correlation. Offspring of dams subjected to REMSD were predisposed to prepartal stress. Nonetheless, the offspring of dams exposed to REMSD from GD 1 - 20 revealed the most detrimental effects, following their low number of survivors and birth weight.
Conclusion: This study identified the potential consequence of continued maternal sleep deprivation-induced stress, sustained exposure to corticosterone, and the corresponding effect it may have posed on the offspring's development.
Keywords: corticosterone, fetal programming, physiological adaptions, rapid eye movement sleep deprivation.