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Int J Biol Sci 2015; 11(8):901-912. doi:10.7150/ijbs.11907

Research Paper

Sleep Deprivation Induces Changes in Immunity in Trichinella spiralis-Infected Rats

Elizabeth G. Ibarra-Coronado1, Javier Velazquéz-Moctezuma2, Daniel Diaz3, Luis Enrique Becerril-Villanueva4, Lenin Pavón4, Jorge Morales-Montor1✉

1. Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, AP 70228, México D.F. 04510, México.
2. Area de Neurociencias, Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, CBS, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Mexico, DF, México.
3. Departamento de Biología Celular y Fisiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F., México.
4. Departamento de Psicoinmunología, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria “Ramón de la Fuente,” Mexico City, Mexico.


Sleep is considered an important predictor of immunity. A lack of sleep may reduce immunity, which increases susceptibility to any type of infection. Moreover, sleep deprivation in humans produces changes in both, the percent of circulating immune cells (T cells and NK cells) and cytokine levels (IL-1, IFNγ, TNΦ-αα, IL-6 and IL-17). The aim of our study was to investigate whether sleep deprivation produces deregulation on immune variables during the immune response generated against the helminth parasite Trichinella spiralis. Because sleep deprivation is stressful per se, we designed another experiments to compared stress alone (consisting in movement restriction and single housing) with sleep deprivation, in both control (uninfected) and experimental (infected) rats. Our results demonstrate that the sleep deprivation and stress have a differential effect in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and spleen. In uninfected rats sleep deprivation alone produces an increase in natural killer cells (NK+) and B cells (CD45+), accompanied by a decrease in cytotoxic T cells (CD3+CD8+) in spleen; while, in MLN, produces only an increase in natural killer cells (NK+). Both, SD and stress, produce an increased percentage of total T cells (CD3+) in spleen. In the MLN both are also associated to an increase in cytotoxic T cells (CD3+CD8+) and B cells (CD45+). In the spleens of parasitized rats, cell populations did not change. In spleens of both, sleep-deprived and stressed infected rats, we observed an increase in B cells (CD45+). In infected rats, sleep deprivation alone produced an increase in NK cells (NK+). In mesenteric node cell populations of parasitized rats, we observed a decrease in NK cells and an increase in T helper (CD4+) cells in both SD and stressed rats. Rats that were only subjected to stress showed a decrease in B cells (CD45+). These findings suggest that the immune response generated against infection caused by T. spiralis is affected when the sleep pattern is disrupted. These results support the notion that sleep is a fundamental process for an adequate and strong immune response generated against this parasite.

Keywords: sleep deprivation, immune response, parasite, Trichinella spiralis

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How to cite this article:
Ibarra-Coronado EG, Velazquéz-Moctezuma J, Diaz D, Becerril-Villanueva LE, Pavón L, Morales-Montor J. Sleep Deprivation Induces Changes in Immunity in Trichinella spiralis-Infected Rats. Int J Biol Sci 2015; 11(8):901-912. doi:10.7150/ijbs.11907. Available from