The promnesic neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate increases paradoxical sleep in rats

Muriel Darnaudéry, Jean Jacques Bouyer, Marc Pallarés, Michel Le Moal, Willy Mayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of systemic administration of the neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate (PREG-S) on sleep-wakefulness cycle and on spatial memory performances was investigated in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In the first experiment, the effect of PREG-S administration (saline, 4.75, 47.5 mg/kg, i.p.) on 24 h EEG recording was evaluated. In the second experiment, spatial memory performance in a two-trial memory task was evaluated after post- acquisition administration of similar doses of PREG-S as in the first experiment. Results show that PREG-S increases paradoxical sleep and improves the performance on the memory task yielding similar dose response curves. Starting 4 h after administration of 47.5 mg/kg PREG-S, paradoxical sleep is increased for 10 h. The PREG-S effect on spatial memory lasts for at least 24 h after injection. These results suggest that an enhancement of paradoxical sleep may be involved in the promnesic effects of this neurosteroid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-498
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 1999


  • Cognitive enhancer
  • EEG
  • REM sleep
  • Sleep-wakefulness cycle
  • Steroid


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