1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Regulation of sleep homeostasis by sexual arousal

  1. Esteban J Beckwith
  2. Quentin Geissmann
  3. Alice S French
  4. Giorgio F Gilestro  Is a corresponding author
  1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Research Article
  • Cited 15
  • Views 5,935
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e27445 doi: 10.7554/eLife.27445

Abstract

In all animals, sleep pressure is under continuous tight regulation. It is universally accepted that this regulation arises from a two-process model, integrating both a circadian and a homeostatic controller. Here we explore the role of environmental social signals as a third, parallel controller of sleep homeostasis and sleep pressure. We show that, in Drosophila melanogaster males, sleep pressure after sleep deprivation can be counteracted by raising their sexual arousal, either by engaging the flies with prolonged courtship activity or merely by exposing them to female pheromones.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Esteban J Beckwith

    Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3373-1833
  2. Quentin Geissmann

    Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-6546-4306
  3. Alice S French

    Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Giorgio F Gilestro

    Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    giorgio@gilest.ro
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7512-8541

Funding

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/M003930/1)

  • Alice S French
  • Giorgio F. Gilestro

European Molecular Biology Organization (ALTF 57-2014)

  • Esteban J Beckwith

H2020 European Research Council (705930)

  • Esteban J Beckwith

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/J014575/1)

  • Quentin Geissmann
  • Giorgio F. Gilestro

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Leslie C Griffith, Brandeis University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: April 4, 2017
  2. Accepted: August 28, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 12, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 6, 2017 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2017, Beckwith et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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Further reading

    1. Neuroscience
    Daniel R Machado et al.
    Research Article

    Molecular and circuit mechanisms for balancing competing drives are not well understood. While circadian and homeostatic mechanisms generally ensure sufficient sleep at night, other pressing needs can overcome sleep drive. Here, we demonstrate that the balance between sleep and sex drives determines whether male flies sleep or court, and identify a subset of octopaminergic neurons (MS1) that regulate sleep specifically in males. When MS1 neurons are activated, isolated males sleep less, and when MS1 neurons are silenced, the normal male sleep suppression in female presence is attenuated and mating behavior is impaired. MS1 neurons do not express the sexually dimorphic FRUITLESS (FRU) transcription factor, but form male-specific contacts with FRU-expressing neurons; calcium imaging experiments reveal bidirectional functional connectivity between MS1 and FRU neurons. We propose octopaminergic MS1 neurons interact with the FRU network to mediate sleep suppression by male sex drive.

    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Neuroscience
    Bethany A Stahl, Alex C Keene
    Insight

    Sexual arousal in flies counteracts the effects of sleep deprivation.