A recent animal study conducted by the University of Ottawa has revealed that prolonged sleep disturbance during adolescence can result in depression in both males and females. Additionally, it may also alter stress reactivity in adolescent females, as reported by the study. Researchers explain that depression is a common mood disorder which adversely affects the quality of life for over 264 million people globally. When teenagers are exposed to stress and subsequent sensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), the axis contributes to mood disorder development, and females are particularly vulnerable to HPA sensitization.
To address this possibility, 80 adolescent and adult CD-1 mice (Male, n = 40; Female, n = 40) were kept sleep deprived for the first four hours of each rest cycle or were allowed normal rest for eight consecutive days. Both adolescent male and female mice exhibited significantly greater depression-like behavior after chronic sleep disruption. Additionally, it was also reported that female adolescents exhibited depression-like behavior more than male adolescents. These findings imply that chronic sleep disruption during adolescence may develop into depressive symptoms in male and female adolescents through different signaling mechanisms.
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Michael Murack, Rajini Chandrasegaram, Kevin B. Smith, Emily G. Ah-Yen, Étienne Rheaume, Étienne Malette-Guyon, Zahra Nanji, Seana N. Semchishen, Olivia Latus, Claude Messier, Nafissa Ismail. Chronic sleep disruption induces depression-like behavior in adolescent male and female mice and sensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in adolescent female mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 2020; 113001 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.113001