Abnormal Sleep Signals Vulnerability to Chronic Social Defeat Stress

Basma Radwan, Gloria Jansen, Dipesh Chaudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a tight association between mood and sleep as disrupted sleep is a core feature of many mood disorders. The paucity in available animal models for investigating the role of sleep in the etiopathogenesis of depression-like behaviors led us to investigate whether prior sleep disturbances can predict susceptibility to future stress. Hence, we assessed sleep before and after chronic social defeat (CSD) stress. The social behavior of the mice post stress was classified in two main phenotypes: mice susceptible to stress that displayed social avoidance and mice resilient to stress. Pre-CSD, mice susceptible to stress displayed increased fragmentation of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, due to increased switching between NREM and wake and shorter average duration of NREM bouts, relative to mice resilient to stress. Logistic regression analysis showed that the pre-CSD sleep features from both phenotypes were separable enough to allow prediction of susceptibility to stress with >80% accuracy. Post-CSD, susceptible mice maintained high NREM fragmentation while resilient mice exhibited high NREM fragmentation, only in the dark. Our findings emphasize the putative role of fragmented NREM sleep in signaling vulnerability to stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number610655
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 12 2021


  • EEG
  • NREM sleep
  • chronic social defeat
  • depression
  • fragmentation
  • insomnia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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