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Sleep. 2017 Aug 1;40(8). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx084.

Sleep-Dependent Modulation of Metabolic Rate in Drosophila.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL.
Integrative Biology Graduate Program, Jupiter, FL.
Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.
Science Division, Penn State Berks, Reading, PA.


Study Objectives:

Dysregulation of sleep is associated with metabolic diseases, and metabolic rate (MR) is acutely regulated by sleep-wake behavior. In humans and rodent models, sleep loss is associated with obesity, reduced metabolic rate, and negative energy balance, yet little is known about the neural mechanisms governing interactions between sleep and metabolism.


We have developed a system to simultaneously measure sleep and MR in individual Drosophila, allowing for interrogation of neural systems governing interactions between sleep and metabolic rate.


Like mammals, MR in flies is reduced during sleep and increased during sleep deprivation suggesting sleep-dependent regulation of MR is conserved across phyla. The reduction of MR during sleep is not simply a consequence of inactivity because MR is reduced ~30 minutes following the onset of sleep, raising the possibility that CO2 production provides a metric to distinguish different sleep states in the fruit fly. To examine the relationship between sleep and metabolism, we determined basal and sleep-dependent changes in MR is reduced in starved flies, suggesting that starvation inhibits normal sleep-associated effects on metabolic rate. Further, translin mutant flies that fail to suppress sleep during starvation demonstrate a lower basal metabolic rate, but this rate was further reduced in response to starvation, revealing that regulation of starvation-induced changes in MR and sleep duration are genetically distinct.


Therefore, this system provides the unique ability to simultaneously measure sleep and oxidative metabolism, providing novel insight into the physiological changes associated with sleep and wakefulness in the fruit fly.


Drosophila; calorimetry; metabolism; respirometry; sleep

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