FASEB J. 2009 Jul 13.
Enhancing influence of intranasal interleukin-6 on slow-wave activity and memory consolidation during sleep.
Benedict C, Scheller J, Rose-John S, Born J, Marshall L.
The cytokine IL-6 has been considered to exert neuromodulating influences on the brain, with promoting influences on sleep. Sleep enhances the consolidation of memories, and, in particular, late nocturnal sleep also represents a period of enhanced IL-6 signaling, due to a distinctly enhanced availability of soluble IL-6 receptors during this period, enabling trans-signaling of IL-6 to neurons. Thus, a contribution of IL-6 to sleep-dependent memory consolidation is hypothesized. To test this hypothesis, we compared effects of intranasally administered IL-6 (vs. placebo) on sleep-dependent consolidation of declarative (neutral and emotional texts, 2-dimensional object location) and procedural (finger sequence tapping) memories in 17 healthy young men. IL-6 distinctly improved the sleep-related consolidation of emotional text material (P<0.03), which benefits mostly from sleep in the second night-half, in which rapid eye movement sleep (REM) dominates the non-REM-REM sleep cycle. During this second night-half, the amount of electroencephalogram slow-wave activity (0.5-4 Hz) distinctly increased after IL-6 (P<0.01). Other types of memory were not affected. The ability of IL-6 to enhance sleep-associated emotional memory consolidation highlights an example of a functional interaction between the central nervous and immune system.-Benedict, C., Scheller, J., Rose-John, S., Born, J., Marshall, L. Enhancing influence of intranasal interleukin-6 on slow-wave activity and memory consolidation during sleep.