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Nature. 2006 Jun 8;441(7094):753-6.

A dynamic role for the mushroom bodies in promoting sleep in Drosophila.

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Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ilinois 60208, USA.


The fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, exhibits many of the cardinal features of sleep, yet little is known about the neural circuits governing its sleep. Here we have performed a screen of GAL4 lines expressing a temperature-sensitive synaptic blocker shibire(ts1) (ref. 2) in a range of discrete neural circuits, and assayed the amount of sleep at different temperatures. We identified three short-sleep lines at the restrictive temperature with shared expression in the mushroom bodies, a neural locus central to learning and memory. Chemical ablation of the mushroom bodies also resulted in reduced sleep. These studies highlight a central role for the mushroom bodies in sleep regulation.

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