Background: Sleep deprivation (SD) , recognized as a public health epidemic, impaired glucose metabolism, yet little is known about the association between sleep and bone health.

Methods: Twenty 5-week-old male Wistar rats and randomly divided into the CSD and normal control (NC) groups after one-week acclimatization. After a 6-week intervention of sleep deprivation, the distal femurs of both groups were harvested for micro-computed tomography scans and histological analysis. Meanwhile, the femur tissues were measured the mRNA and protein expression via RNA sequencing and immunohistochemical analysis. Serum bone turnover markers were evaluated at 0, 2, 4, and 6 weeks.

Result: CSD impaired the bone growth, showing an imbalance of bone turnover status, dysphasia in the metaphysis growth plate, and deterioration of bone microarchitecture. Further, CSD suppressed bone formation, showing that the expression of osteogenesis-related proteins (col1α1 and osteocalcin) and mRNA (igf1, bglap, runx2, col1α1, pth1r) are down-regulated. Differentially expressed genes were detected, and functional enrichment analyses revealed that the PI3K/AKT pathway was significantly down-regulated in the CSD group. While Diabetic cardiomyopathy, Oxidative phosphorylation, and Neurodegenerative disease-related pathways were up-regulated.

Conclusion: These results suggest that CSD can significantly impaired bone health, and it may exert these effects in part by suppressing bone formation and osteoblast differentiation, and inactivating the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.


X.Duan: None. L.Guo: None.


National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81670763 and 81471050)

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