Symmetrical Serotonin Release during Asymmetrical Slow-Wave Sleep: Implications for the Neurochemistry of Sleep–Waking States
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:The Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 33(6), p.2555-2561 (2013)
On land, fur seals predominately display bilaterally synchronized electroencephalogram (EEG) activity during slow-wave sleep (SWS), similar to that observed in all terrestrial mammals. In water, however, fur seals exhibit asymmetric slow-wave sleep (ASWS), resembling the unihemispheric slow-wave sleep of odontocetes (toothed whales). The unique sleeping pattern of fur seals allows us to distinguish neuronal mechanisms mediating EEG changes from those mediating behavioral quiescence. In a prior study we found that cortical
acetylcholine release is lateralized during ASWS in the northern fur seal, with greater release in the hemisphere displaying low-voltage (waking) EEG activity, linking acetylcholine release to hemispheric EEG activation (Lapierre et al. 2007). In contrast to acetylcholine, we now report that cortical serotonin release is not lateralized during ASWS. Our data demonstrate that bilaterally symmetric levels of serotonin are compatible with interhemispheric EEG asymmetry in the fur seal. We also find greatly elevated levels during eating and hosing the animals with water, suggesting that serotonin is more closely linked to bilateral variables, such as axial motor and autonomic control, than to the lateralized cortical activation manifested in asymmetrical sleep.