Effects of cytokines on human EEG and sleep

  • J. Born
  • E. Späth-Schwalbe
Part of the Key Topics in Brain Research book series (KEYTOPICS)


Numerous experiments in animals have indicated a mutual interdependency between central nervous sleep/wake processes and immunological functions (Krüger et al., 1990; Krüger and Karnovsky, 1995; Toth, 1995). Two principally different concepts have guided this research. On the one hand, it was assumed that sleep has a general restoring effect, and in this context also facilitates immune functioning (e.g., Dinges etal., 1994; Born etal., 1997). On the other hand, the hypothesis has been put forward that the immune system influences sleep. Support for this latter view derived from common observations that infectious diseases may be accompanied by intense feelings of tiredness and sleepiness. Immune processes may induce and maintain central nervous sleep via the release of cytokines which are the messengers of the immune system. In animals, especially cytokines initiating the immune response such as the monocyte/macrophage derived cytokines tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) but also interferons (IFNs) have been shown to facilitate sleep (e.g., Shoham etal., 1987; Kriiger etal., 1984, 1987, 1990). This paper concentrates on studies examining whether proinflammatory cytokines exert a similar promoting effect on human sleep.


Thyroid Stimulate Hormone Acute Phase Response Thyroid Stimulate Hormone Level Thyroid Stimulate Hormone Concentration Adjective Check List 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Born
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Späth-Schwalbe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical NeuroendocrinologyUniversity of LuebeckFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of Physiological PsychologyUniversity of BambergCharite, BerlinFederal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineHumboldt UniversityCharite, BerlinFederal Republic of Germany

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