• astrocytes;
  • biosensor;
  • blood flow;
  • energetic;
  • glycogen;
  • neurons


In the present study, cortical extracellular levels of glucose were monitored for the first time throughout the sleep–wake states of the freely moving rat. For this purpose, polygraphic recordings (electroencephalogram of the fronto-occipital cortices and electromyogram of the neck muscles) were achieved in combination with differential normal pulse voltammetry (DNPV) using a specific glucose sensor. Data obtained reveal that the basal extracellular glucose concentration in the conscious rat is 0.59 ± 0.3 m m while under chloral hydrate anaesthesia (0.4 g/kg, i.p.) it increases up to 180% of its basal concentration. Regarding the sleep–wake cycle, the existence of spontaneous significant variations in the mean glucose level during slow-wave sleep (SWS = +13%) and paradoxical sleep (PS = −11%) compared with the waking state (100%) is also reported. It is to be noticed that during long periods of active waking, glucose level tends towards a decrease that becomes significant after 15 min (active waking = −32%). On the contrary, during long episodes of slow-wave sleep, it tends towards an increase which becomes significant after 12 min (SWS = +28%). It is suggested that voltammetric techniques using enzymatic biosensors are useful tools allowing direct glucose measurements in the freely moving animal. On the whole, paradoxical sleep is pointed out as a state highly dependent on the availability of energy and slow-wave sleep as a period of energy saving.