Early Disruption of Cortical Sleep-Related Oscillations in a Mouse Model of Dementia With Lewy Bodies (DLB) Expressing Human Mutant (A30P) Alpha-Synuclein

Myrto Stylianou, Boubker Zaaimi, Alan Thomas, John-Paul Taylor, Fiona E. N. LeBeau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes in sleep behavior and sleep-related cortical activity have been reported in conditions associated with abnormal alpha-synuclein (α-syn) expression, in particular Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Notably, changes can occur in patients years before the onset of cognitive decline. Sleep-related network oscillations play a key role in memory function, but how abnormal α-syn impacts the generation of such activity is currently unclear. To determine whether early changes in sleep-related network activity could also be observed, prior to any previously reported cognitive dysfunction, we used mice that over-express human mutant α-syn (A30P). Recordings in vivo were performed under urethane anesthesia in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and CA1 region of the hippocampus in young male (2.5 – 4 months old) A30P and age-matched wild type (WT) mice. We found that the slow oscillation (SO) < 1 Hz frequency was significantly faster in both the mPFC and hippocampus in A30P mice, and Up-state-associated fast oscillations at beta (20 – 30 Hz) and gamma (30 – 80 Hz) frequencies were delayed relative to the onset of the Up-state. Spindle (8 – 15 Hz) activity in the mPFC was also altered in A30P mice, as spindles were shorter in duration and had reduced density compared to WT. These changes demonstrate that dysregulation of sleep-related oscillations occurs in young A30P mice long before the onset of cognitive dysfunction. Our data suggest that, as seen in patients, changes in sleep-related oscillations are an early consequence of abnormal α-syn aggregation in A30P mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number579867
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Stylianou, Zaaimi, Thomas, Taylor and LeBeau. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • alpha-synuclein
  • fast network oscillations
  • hippocampus
  • prefrontal cortex
  • slow oscillations
  • spindles


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