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Science 310 (5745): 111-113

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Retinoic Acid Signaling Affects Cortical Synchrony During Sleep

Stéphanie Maret,1 Paul Franken,1,2 Yves Dauvilliers,1,3 Norbert B. Ghyselinck,4 Pierre Chambon,4 Mehdi Tafti1*

Abstract: Delta oscillations, characteristic of the electroencephalogram (EEG) of slow wave sleep, estimate sleep depth and need and are thought to be closely linked to the recovery function of sleep. The cellular mechanisms underlying the generation of delta waves at the cortical and thalamic levels are well documented, but the molecular regulatory mechanisms remain elusive. Here we demonstrate in the mouse that the gene encoding the retinoic acid receptor beta determines the contribution of delta oscillations to the sleep EEG. Thus, retinoic acid signaling, which is involved in the patterning of the brain and dopaminergic pathways, regulates cortical synchrony in the adult.

1 Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Génopode, 1015 Lausanne-Dorigny, Switzerland.
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, CA 94305–5020, USA.
3 Service de Neurologie B, Hôpital Gui-de-Chauliac, 34295 Montpellier cedex 5, France.
4 Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC) and Institut Clinique de la Souris (ICS), 67404 Illkirch cedex, France.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mehdi.tafti{at}

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