Chloramphenicol decreases brain glucose utilization and modifies the sleep-wake cycle architecture in rats

Marcelle Moulin-Sallanon*, Philippe Millet, Colette Rousset, Luc Zimmer, Gabriel Debilly, Jean Marie Petit, Raymond Cespuglio, Pierre Magistretti, Vicente Ibáñez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of chloramphenicol on brain glucose utilization and sleep-wake cycles in rat. After slightly anaesthetized animals were injected with [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose, we acquired time-concentration curves from three radiosensitive β microprobes inserted into the right and left frontal cortices and the cerebellum, and applied a three-compartment model to calculate the cerebral metabolic rates for glucose. The sleep-wake cycle architecture was analysed in anaesthetic-free rats by recording electroencephalographic and electromyographic signals. Although chloramphenicol is a well-established inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation, no compensatory increase in glucose utilization was detected in frontal cortex. Instead, chloramphenicol induced a significant 23% decrease in the regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose. Such a metabolic response indicates a potential mismatch between energy supply and neuronal activity induced by chloramphenicol administration. Regarding sleep-wake states, chloramphenicol treatment was followed by a 64% increase in waking, a 20% decrease in slow-wave sleep, and a marked 59% loss in paradoxical sleep. Spectral analysis of the electroencephalogram indicates that chloramphenicol induces long-lasting modifications of delta-band power during slow-wave sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1632
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Chloramphenicol
  • Electroencephalogram spectral analysis
  • Glucose utilization
  • Rat
  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • β-microprobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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