Astrocyte-derived adenosine and A1 receptor activity contribute to sleep loss-induced deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory in mice.

Abstract – Sleep deprivation (SD) can have a negative impact on cognitive function, but the mechanism(s) by which SD modulates memory remains unclear. We have previously shown that astrocyte-derived adenosine is a candidate molecule involved in the cognitive deficits following a brief period of SD (Halassa et al., 2009). In this study, we examined whether genetic disruption of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attached protein (SNARE)-dependent exocytosis in astrocytes (dnSNARE mice) or pharmacological blockade of A1 receptor signaling using an adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) antagonist, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine (CPT), could prevent the negative effects of 6 h of SD on hippocampal late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) and hippocampus-dependent spatial object recognition memory. We found that SD impaired L-LTP in wild-type mice but not in dnSNARE mice. Similarly, this deficit in L-LTP resulting from SD was prevented by a chronic infusion of CPT. Consistent with these results, we found that hippocampus-dependent memory deficits produced by SD were rescued in dnSNARE mice and CPT-treated mice. These data provide the first evidence that astrocytic ATP and adenosine A1R activity contribute to the effects of SD on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory, and suggest a new therapeutic target to reverse the hippocampus-related cognitive deficits induced by sleep loss.