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GABA(B) receptors play an essential role in maintaining sleep during the second half of the night in Drosophila melanogaster
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Biology, ISSN 0022-0949, Vol. 216, no 20, 3837-3843 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

GABAergic signalling is important for normal sleep in humans and flies. Here we advance the current understanding of GABAergic modulation of daily sleep patterns by focusing on the role of slow metabotropic GABA(B) receptors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We asked whether GABA(B)-R2 receptors are regulatory elements in sleep regulation in addition to the already identified fast ionotropic Rdl GABA(A) receptors. By immunocytochemical and reporter-based techniques we show that the pigment dispersing factor (PDF)-positive ventrolateral clock neurons (LNv) express GABA(B)-R2 receptors. Downregulation of GABA(B)-R2 receptors in the large PDF neurons (l-LNv) by RNAi reduced sleep maintenance in the second half of the night, whereas sleep latency at the beginning of the night that was previously shown to depend on ionotropic Rdl GABA(A) receptors remained unaltered. Our results confirm the role of the l-LNv neurons as an important part of the sleep circuit in D. melanogaster and also identify the GABA(B)-R2 receptors as the thus far missing component in GABA-signalling that is essential for sleep maintenance. Despite the significant effects on sleep, we did not observe any changes in circadian behaviour in flies with downregulated GABA(B)-R2 receptors, indicating that the regulation of sleep maintenance via l-LNv neurons is independent of their function in the circadian clock circuit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 216, no 20, 3837-3843 p.
Keyword [en]
circadian clock neurons, metabotropic GABA receptors, PDF neurons
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95420DOI: 10.1242/jeb.085563ISI: 000324911200014OAI: diva2:660863
Swedish Research Council, 621-2007-6500


Available from: 2013-10-31 Created: 2013-10-28 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Kolodziejczyk, AgataNässel, Dick R.
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