Meerlo Lab – University of Groningen

Meerlo Lab - University of Groningen

Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES)

Meerlo Lab

Contact: Peter  
Position: Assistant Professor
Address: Nijenborgh 7
City: Groningen
Country: Netherlands
Contact Email: Contact laboratory
KEYWORDS: Learning, Memory, Cognition, Sleep and Psychiatry-Personality Disorders, Sleep and Body Functions (Cardio-Respiratory, Thermoregulation/Metabolism, Endocrine), Sleep Physiology-Neurophysiology in Animal


Laboratory Description:

The main research topics in the Meerlo lab are: 1) comparative studies on the regulation and function of sleep in different species; 2) sleep as a recovery process that supports neuronal plasticity and brain function, including memory formation; and 3) the neurobiological and neuroendocrine consequences of chronically disrupted or restricted sleep, with special emphasis on systems that are involved in stress and have been implicated in mood disorders and cognitive disturbances.

KEY Publications of the Laboratory:

Selection of key publications:

Ota SM, Kong X, Hut RA, Suchecki S, Meerlo P. The impact of stress and stress hormones on endogenous clocks and circadian rhythms. Frontiers in Neuroendcocrinology 63: 100931, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2021.100931.

Van Hasselt SJ, Hut RA, Allocca G, Vyssotski AL, Piersma T, Rattenborg NC, Meerlo P. Cloud cover amplifies the sleep-suppressing effect of artificial light at night in geese. Environmental Pollution 273: 116444, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116444.

Van Hasselt SJ, Mekenkamp GJ, Komdeur J, Vyssotski AL, Piersma T, Rattenborg NC, Meerlo P. Seasonal variation in sleep homeostasis in migratory geese: a rebound of NREM sleep following sleep deprivation in summer but not in winter. SLEEP 44: zsaa244, 2021. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa244.

Van Hasselt S, Rusche M, Vyssotski AL, Verhulst S, Rattenborg NC, Meerlo P. Sleep time in the European starling is strongly affected by night length and moon phase. Current Biology 30: 1664-1671, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.02.052.

Van Hasselt S, Rusche M, Vyssotski AL, Verhulst S, Rattenborg NC, Meerlo P. The European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) shows signs of NREM sleep homeostasis but has very little REM sleep and no REM sleep homeostasis. SLEEP 43: zsz311, 2020. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz311.

Heckman PRA, Roig Kuhn F, Raven F, Bolsius Y, Prickaerts J, Meerlo P, Havekes R. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors roflumilast and vardenafil protect against sleep deprivation-induced deficits in spatial pattern separation. Synapse 74: e22150, 2020. doi: 10.1002/syn.22150.

Raven F, Heckman PRA, Havekes R, Meerlo P. Sleep deprivation-induced impairment of memory consolidation is not mediated by glucocorticoid stress hormones. Journal of Sleep Research 29: e12972, 2020. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12972.

Heckman PRA, Roig Kuhn F, Meerlo P, Havekes R. A brief period of sleep deprivation negatively impacts the acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval of object-location memories. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 175: 107326, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2020.107326.

Ota SM, Hut R, Riede S, Crosby P, Suchecki D, Meerlo P. Social stress and glucocorticoids alter PERIOD2 rhythmicity in the liver, but not in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Hormones and Behavior 120: 104683, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2020.104683.

Raven F, Van der Zee EA, Meerlo P, Havekes R. The role of sleep in regulating structural plasticity and synaptic strength: implications for memory and cognitive function. Sleep Medicine Reviews 39: 3-11, 2018.

Rattenborg NC, de la Iglesia HO, Kempenaers B, Lesku JA, Meerlo P, Scriba MF. Sleep research goes wild: new methods and approaches to investigate the ecology, evolution and functions of sleep. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B 372: 20160251, 2017; doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0251.

Ouyang JQ, De Jong M, Van Grunsven RHA, Matson KD, Haussmann MF, Meerlo P, Visser ME, Spoelstra K. Restless roosts: light pollution affects behavior, sleep and physiology in a free-living songbird. Global Change Biology23: 4987-4994, 2017.

Zhang SL, Bai L, Goel N, Bailey A, Jang CJ, Bushman FD, Meerlo P, Dinges DF, Sehgal A. Human and rat gut microbiome composition is maintained following sleep restriction. PNAS 114: E1564-E1571, 2017.

Grønli G, Meerlo P, Pedersen TT, Pallesen S, Skrede S, Marti AR, Wisor JP, Murison R, Henriksen TEG, Rempe MJ, Mrdalj J. A rodent model of night-shift work induces short-term and enduring sleep and electroencephalographic disturbances. Journal of Biological Rhythms 32: 48-62, 2017.

Kamphuis J, Baichel S, Lancel M, De Boer SF, Koolhaas JM, Meerlo P. Sleep restriction in rats leads to changes in operant behavior indicative of reduced prefrontal cortex function. Journal of Sleep Research 26: 5-13, 2017.

Havekes R, Park AJ, Tudor JC, Luczak VG, Hansen RT, Ferri SL, Bruinenberg VM, Poplawski SG, Day JP, Aton SJ, Radwańska K, Meerlo P­­, Houslay MD, Baillie GS, Abel T. Sleep deprivation causes memory deficits by negatively impacting neuronal connectivity in hippcampal area CA1. eLIFE 5: e13424, 2016. doi 10.7554/eLife.13424.

Kreutzmann JC, Havekes R, Abel T, Meerlo P. Sleep Deprivation and Hippocampal Vulnerability: Changes in Neuronal Plasticity, Neurogenesis and Cognitive Function. Neuroscience, 309: 173-190, 2015.

Weljie AM, Meerlo P, Goel N, Sengupta A, Kayser MS, Abel T, Birnbaum MJ, Dinges DF, Sehgal A. Oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3 are cross-species markers of sleep debt. PNAS 112: 2569-2574, 2015.

Havekes R, Bruinenberg VM, Tudor JC, Ferri SL, Baumann A, Meerlo P, Abel T. Transiently increasing cAMP levels selectively in hippocampal excitatory neurons during sleep deprivation prevents memory deficits caused by sleep loss.Journal of Neuroscience 34: 15715-21, 2014.

Coolen A, Plassman K, Barf P, Fuchs E, Meerlo P. Telemetric study of sleep architecture and sleep homeostasis in the day-active tree shrew Tupaia belangeri. Sleep 35: 879-888, 2012.

Hoffmann K, Coolen A, Schlumbohm C, Meerlo P, Fuchs E. Remote long-term registrations of sleep-wake rhythms, core body temperature and activity in marmoset monkeys. Behavioral Brain Research 235: 113-123, 2012.

Kamphuis J, Meerlo P, Koolhaas JM, Lancel M. Poor sleep as a potential causal factor in aggression and violence. Sleep Medicine 13: 327-334, 2012.

Koolhaas JM, Bartolumucci A, Buwalda B, de Boer SF, Flügge G, Korte SM, Meerlo P, Murison R, Olivier B, Palanza P, Richter-Levin G, Sgiofo A, Steimer T, Stiedl O, Van Dijk G, Wöhr M, Fuchs E. Stress revisited: a critical review of the stress concept. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 35: 1291-1301, 2011.

Hagewoud R, Bultsma L, Koolhaas JM, Meerlo P. Sleep deprivation impairs contextual fear conditioning and attenuates subsequent behavioral, endocrine and neuronal responses. Journal of Sleep Research 20: 259-266, 2011.

Hagewoud R, Havekes R, Tiba P, Novati A, Hogenelst K, Weinreder P, Van der Zee EA, Meerlo P. Coping with sleep deprivation: shifts in regional brain activity and learning strategy. SLEEP 33: 1465-1473, 2010.

Hagewoud R, Whitcomb S, Heeringa AN, Havekes R, Koolhaas JM, Meerlo P. A time for learning and a time for sleep: the effect of sleep deprivation on contextual fear conditioning at different times of the day. SLEEP 33: 1315-1322, 2010.

Hagewoud R, Havekes R, Novati A, Keijser JN, Van der Zee EA, Meerlo P. Sleep deprivation impairs spatial working memory and reduces hippocampal AMPA receptor phosphorylation. Journal of Sleep Research 19: 280-288, 2010.

Meerlo P, Mistlberger R, Jacobs BL, Heller C, McGinty D. New neurons in the adult brain: the role of sleep and consequences of sleep loss. Sleep Medicine Reviews 13: 187-194, 2009.

Novati A, Roman V, Cetin T, Hagewoud R, Den Boer JA, Luiten PGM, Meerlo P. Chronically restricted sleep leads to depression-like changes in neurotransmitter receptor sensitivity and neuroendocrine stress reactivity in rats. SLEEP 31: 1579-1585, 2008.

Meerlo P, Sgoifo A, Suchecki D. Restricted and disrupted sleep: effects on autonomic function, neuroendocrine stress systems and stress responsivity. Sleep Medicine Reviews 12: 197-210, 2008.

Koehl M, Battle S, Meerlo P. Sex differences in sleep: the response to sleep deprivation and restraint stress in mice. SLEEP 29: 1224-1231, 2006.

Palchikova S, Winsky-Somerer R, Meerlo P, Durr R, Tobler I. Sleep deprivation impairs object recognition in mice.Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 85: 263-271, 2006.

Van der Borght K, Ferrari F, Klauke K, Roman V, Havekes R, Sgoifo A, Van der Zee EA, Meerlo P. Hippocampal cell proliferation across the day: increase by running wheel activity but no effect of sleep and wakefulness. Behavioural Brain Research 167: 36-41, 2006.

Sgoifo A, Buwalda B, Roos M, Costoli T, Meerlo P. Effects of sleep deprivation on cardiac autonomic and pituitary-adenocortical stress reactivity in rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology 31: 197-208, 2006.

Roman V, Luiten PGM, Meerlo P. Differential effects of chronic partial sleep deprivation and stress on serotonin-1A and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor sensitivity. Journal of Sleep Research 15: 386-394, 2006.

Roman V, Walstra I, Luiten PGM, Meerlo P. Too little sleep gradually desensitizes the 5-HT1A receptor system in rats. SLEEP 28: 1505-1510, 2005.

Meerlo P, Westerveld P, Turek FW, Koehl M. Effects of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) on vigilance states and EEG in mice. SLEEP 27: 899-904, 2004.

Easton A, Meerlo P, Bergmann BM, Turek FW. The suprachiasmatic nucleus regulates sleep timing and amount in mice. SLEEP 27: 1307-1318, 2004.

Meerlo P, Koehl M, Van der Borght K, Turek FW. Sleep restriction alters the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to stress. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 14: 397-402, 2002.

Meerlo P, Easton A, Bergmann BM, Turek FW. Restraint increases prolactin and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in C57BL/6J mice but not in BALB/cJ mice. American Journal of Physiology 281: R846-R854, 2001.

Meerlo P, Turek FW. Effects of social stimuli on sleep in mice: non-rapid-eye movement (NREM) sleep is promoted by aggressive interaction but not by sexual interaction. Brain Research 907: 84-92, 2001.

Meerlo P, De Bruin EA, Strijkstra AM, Daan S. A social conflict increases EEG slow-wave activity during subsequent sleep. Physiology & Behavior 73: 331-335, 2001.

Strijkstra AM, Meerlo P, Beersma DGM. Forced desynchrony of circadian rhythms of body temperature and activity in rats. Chronobiology International 16: 431-440, 1999.

Meerlo P, Daan S. Aggressive and sexual social stimuli do not phase-shift the circadian temperature rhythm in rats. Chronobiology International 15: 231-240, 1998.

Meerlo P, Pragt B, Daan S. Social stress induces high intensity sleep in rats. Neuroscience Letters 225: 41-44, 1997.

Meerlo P, Van den Hoofdakker RH, Koolhaas JM, Daan S. Stress-induced changes in circadian rhythms of body temperature and activity in rats are not caused by pacemaker changes. Journal of Biological Rhythms 12: 80-92, 1997.

Meerlo P, De Boer SF, Daan S, Koolhaas JM, Van den Hoofd­akker RH. Changes in daily rhythms of body temperature and activity after a single social defeat in rats. Physiology & Behavior 59: 735-739, 1996.