home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Timing Sleep And Wakefulness

 
  September, 9 2003 8:22
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
A circadian clock within the brain ensures that we sleep at night and are awake during the day. But as anyone who has stayed up all night and fallen into a deep sleep the next morning knows, the timing of sleep also depends on the need for sleep. Now a paper in the October issue of Nature Neuroscience reports that sleep homeostatic processes, which cause the urge to sleep to depend on prior amounts of sleep or wakefulness, influence the circadian clock.

Johanna Meijer and colleagues monitored the vigilance state of rats by recording their brain (EEG) and muscle (EMG) signals. At the same time, the experimenters recorded neuronal activity within a brain region called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) to monitor the output of the circadian clock. Driven by cycles of gene transcription and translation, activity in the SCN normally oscillates with day and night cycles. They found a clear correlation between vigilance states and activity in the SCN. Furthermore, by using sleep deprivation experiments, they tested for a casual relationship. Indeed, during sleep deprivation, neuronal activity in the SCN failed to show expected changes in electrical activity for the time of day, demonstrating that activity in the SCN is determined not only by the molecular machinery of the circadian clock, but also by sleep need. A next step will be to determine how changes in need for sleep are communicated to the SCN at the molecular level.

Author contact:

Johanna Meijer
University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 527 67 15
E-mail: J.H.Meijer@lumc.nl

Additional contact for comment on paper:

Christopher Colwell
University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Tel: +1 310 206 3973
E-mail: ccolwell@mednet.ucla.edu

Article available online.

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.