Sleep Team Helsinki – University of Helsinki

Sleep Team Helsinki - University of Helsinki

Institute of Biomedicine

Sleep Team Helsinki

Contact: Tarja  
Porkka-Heiskanen (Stenberg)
Position: Team Leader
Address: PO Box 63, 00014
City: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Contact Email: Contact laboratory
KEYWORDS: Sleep Physiology-Neurophysiology in Animal, Sleep Physiology-Neurophysiology in Human, Sleep and Body Functions (Cardio-Respiratory, Thermoregulation/Metabolism, Endocrine), Sleep and Ageing, Genetics of Sleep


Laboratory Description:

The main research topic is the molecular mechanisms of (recovery) sleep. We do research also on the effects of sleep deprivation on (human) health. Sleep and aging is a long-term topic of interest, as well as sleep and depression. Most research is conducted with animal models.

We use in vivo microdialysis, EEG recordings including spectral analysis, behavioral analyses.

We use animal models (mice, rats, zebra fish) – we have validated a clomipramine model of depression in rats and work on shift work models in zebra fish.

Additional Descriptors, Keywords:


KEY Publications of the Laboratory:

Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Strecker,R.E., Bjorkum, A.A., Thakkar, M., Greene,R.W., McCarley, R.W., Adenosine: A mediator of the sleep-inducing effects of prolonged wakefulness.
Science 276: 1265-1268, 1997

Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Strecker, R.E., McCarley,R.W., Brain site specificity of extracellular adenosine concentration changes during sleep deprivation and spontaneous sleep: an in vivo microdialysis study.Neuroscience 99 (3): 507-517, 2000

Urrila, A.S., Hakkarainen, Heikkinen, S.,Vuori, K., Stenberg, D., A., Häkkinen, A-M., Lundbom, N., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Metabolic imaging of human cognition: an fMRI/ 1H MRS study of brain lactate response to silent word generation. J Cereb Blood Flow and Metab 23(8): 942-948, 2003 (5.477).

Stenberg, D., Litonius, E., Linda Halldner, Johansson, B., Fredholm, B.B., Porkka-Heiskanen, T.,
Sleep and its homeostatic regulation in mice lacking the adenosine A1-receptor. J Sleep Res, 12 (4):283-290, 2003 (3.14)

Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Alanko,L., Kalinchuk, A., Heiskanen, S., Stenberg, D., The effect of age on pre-pro orexin gene expression and contents of orexin A and B in the rat brain. Neurobiology of ageing 25:231-238, 2004 (4.49).

Urrila, A.S., Hakkarainen, A., Heikkinen, S., Vuori, K., Stenberg, D., Häkkinen, A-M., Lundbom, N., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Stimulus-induced brain lactate: effects of aging and prolonged wakefulness.
J Sleep Res 13:111-119, 2004

Urrila, A.S., Hakkarainen, A., Huhdankoski, O., Heikkinen, S., Kuusi, T., Stenberg, D., Häkkinen, A.M., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Lundbom, N., Preliminary findings of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in occipital cortex during sleep deprivation. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 147: 41-46, 2006.

Kalinchuk,A., Lu,Y., Stenberg,D., Rosenberg,P.A., Porkka-Heiskanen,T., Nitric oxide production in the basal forebrain is required for recovery sleep. J Neurochem. 99:483-498, 2006

Kalinchuk, A., Stenberg,D., Rosenberg, P., Porkka-Heiskanen,T., Inducible and neuronal nitric oxide synthases (NOS) have complementary roles in recovery sleep induction. Eur J Neurosci 24:1443-1456, 2006

Wigren, H-K., Schepens,M., Matto,V., Stenberg,D., Porkka-Heiskanen,T., Glutamatergic stimulation of the basal forebrain in vivo elevates extracellular adenosine concnetration and increases subsequent NREM sleep. Neuroscience 147: 811-823, 2007

Kostin, A., Stenberg, D., Kalinchuk, A.V., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Nitric oxide modulates the discharge rate of basal forebrain neurons. Psychopharmacology 201: 147-60, 2008

Kalleinen, N., Polo-Kantola,P., Irjala, K., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Vahlberg,T., Virkki, A., Polo, O.
24-h serum levels of growth hormone, prolactin and cortisol, in pre- and postmenopausal women. The effect of combined estrogen and progestin treatment. J Clin Endocrin Metab 93:1655-61, 2008.

Kalinchuk, A.V., McCarley, R.W., Stenberg, D., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Basheer, R, The role of cholinergic basal forebrain neurons in adenosine-mediated homeostatic control of sleep: lessons from 192 IgG saporin lesions. Neuroscience 157: 238–253, 2008

Kostin,A, Stenberg D, Porkka-Heiskanen T., Nitric oxide modulates the discharge rate of basal forebrain neurons. Psychopharmacology 201(1): 147-60, 2008

Van Leeuwen, W.M.A., Lehto,M, Kaarisola, P, Lindholm, H., Sallinen, M., Härmä, M., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Alenius, H., Sleep restriction increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases by enhancing proinflammatory responses through IL-17 and CRP. PloS ONE 4(2): e4589, 2009

Wigren, H-K, Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Inducible nitric oxide synthase and AMP activated protein kinase in the rat basal forebrain during prolonged waking. Neuroreport 7;20(1):97-101, 2009

Gass, N, Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Kalinchuk, A, The role of basal forebrain adenosine receptors in sleep homeostasis. Neuroreport 20(11): 1013-8, 2009

Wigren, H-K, Rytkönen, K-M, Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Aging attenautes basal forebrain lactate release and promotion of cortical arousal during prolonged wakefulness J Neurosci, 16;29(37):11698-707, 2009

Utge, S, Soronen, P, Partonen, T., Loukola, A., Kronholm,E., Pirkola, S., Kiviruusu, O., Nyman, E.,
Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Paunio, T., A population-based association study of mood genes in depression and sleep disturbance. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatric Genetics DOI 10.1002/ajmg.b.31002, 2010

Kostin, A, Stenberg, D, Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Effect of sleep deprivation on multiunit discharge activity of basal forebrain. J Sleep Res 19(2):269-279, 2010

Kalinchuk, A., McCarley RW, Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Basheer, R., Sleep deprivation triggers inducible nitric oxide – dependent nitric oxide production in wake-active basal forebrain neurons.
J Neurosci 30 (40): 13254-13264, 2010

Rytkönen, K-M., Wigren, H-K., Kostin, A., Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Kalinchuk, A., Nitric oxide mediated recovery sleep is attenuated with aging. Neurobiol Aging, 31 (11): 2011 – 2019, 2010

Haavisto M-L, Porkka-Heiskanen T, Hublin C, Härmä M, Mutanen P, Müller K, Virkkala J, Sallinen M, Sleep Restriction for the Duration of a Work Week Impairs Multitasking Performance J Sleep Res 19: 444-454, 2010

Stenholm,S., Kronholm,E., Borodulin,K., Era,P., Fogelholm,M., Partonen, T., Sainio,P., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Koskinen, S., Sleep-related factors and mobility limitation in older men and women
J Gerontol 65(6): 649-657, 2010

Utge,S., Soronen, P., Loukola,A., Kronholm,E., Ollila, H., Pirkola,S., Porkka-Heiskanen,T., Partonen,T., Paunio,T., Systematic analysis of circadian genes in a population-based sample reveals association of TIMELESS with depression and sleep disturbance PLoS ONE 5(2) e9259, 2010

Lagus, M., Gass, N., Saharinen, J., Saarela, J., Porkka-Heiskanen, T., Paunio, T., Gene expression patterns in a rodent model for depression. Eur J Neuroscience 31: 1465-1473, 2010

Van Leeuwen, W.M.A, Hublin, C, Sallinen, M, Härmä, M, Hirvonen, A. Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Prolonged sleep restriction affects glucose metabolism in healthy young men. Int J Endocrinol 2010, ID 108641, doi: 10.1155/2010/108641

Gass N, Ollila HM, Utge S, Partonen T, Kronholm E, Pirkola S, Suhonen J, Silander K, Porkka-Heiskanen T, Paunio T. Contribution of adenosine related genes to the risk of depression with disturbed sleep. Journal of Affective Disorders 126 (1-2): 134-139, 2010

Rytkönen, K-M, Zitting, J, Porkka-Heiskanen, T, Automated sleep scoring in rats and mice using the naive Bayes classifier. J Neurosci Methods 2011


  • Title:  PhD, MD Name:  Tiina Paunio Position: professor, P.I. Institution: National Institute for Health and Welfare and University of Helsinki Email: