Sleep-wakefulness cycle and behavior in pannexin1 knockout mice

V. M. Kovalzon, L. S. Moiseenko, A. V. Ambaryan, S. Kurtenbach, V. I. Shestopalov, Y. V. Panchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Pannexins are membrane channel proteins that play a role in a number of critical biological processes (Panchin et al., 2000; Shestopalov, Panchin, 2008). Among other cellular functions, pannexin hemichannels serve as purine nucleoside conduits providing ATP efflux into the extracellular space (Dahl, 2015), where it is rapidly degraded to adenosine. Pannexin1 (Panx1) is abundantly expressed in the brain and has been shown to contribute to adenosine signaling in nervous system tissues (Prochnow et al., 2012). We hypothesized that pannexin1 may contribute to sleep-wake cycle regulation through extracellular adenosine, a well-established paracrine factor in slow wave sleep. To investigate this link, EEG and movement activity throughout the light/dark cycle were compared in Panx1−/− and Panx1+/+ mice. We found a significant increase in waking and a correspondent decrease in slow wave sleep percentages in the Panx1−/− animals. These changes were especially pronounced during the dark period. Furthermore, we found a significant increase in movement activity of Panx1−/− mice. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that extracellular adenosine is relatively depleted in Panx1−/− animals due to the absence of the ATP-permeable hemichannels. At the same time, sleep rebound after a 6-h sleep deprivation remained unchanged in Panx1−/− mice as compared to the control animals. Behavioral tests revealed that Panx1−/− mice were significantly faster during their descent along the vertical pole but more sluggish during their run through the horizontal pole as compared to the control mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • ATP
  • Adenosine
  • Gene knockout models
  • Hemichannels
  • Pannexin
  • Purinergic signaling
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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