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Energy Stores Are Not Altered by Long-Term Partial Sleep Deprivation in Drosophila melanogaster

By Susan T. Harbison and Amita Sehgal


Recent human studies reveal a widespread association between short sleep and obesity. Two hypotheses, which are not mutually exclusive, might explain this association. First, genetic factors that reduce endogenous sleep times might also impact energy stores, an assertion that we confirmed in a previous study. Second, metabolism may be altered by chronic partial sleep deprivation. Here we address the second assertion by measuring the impact of long-term partial sleep deprivation on energy stores using Drosophila as a model. We subjected flies to long-term partial sleep deprivation via two different methods: a mechanical stimulus and a light stimulus. We then measured whole-body triglycerides and glycogen, two important sources of energy for the fly, and compared them to un-stimulated controls. We also measured changes in energy stores in response to a random circadian clock shift. Sex and line-dependent alterations in glycogen and/or triglyceride levels occurred in response to the circadian clock shift and in flies subjected to a single night of sleep deprivation using light. Thus, consistent with previous studies, our findings suggest that acute sleep loss and changes to the circadian clock can alter metabolism. Significant changes in energy stores were also observed when flies were subjected to chronic sleep loss via the mechanical stimulus, although not the light stimulus. Interestingly, mechanical stimulation resulted in the same change in energy stores even when it was not associated with sleep deprivation, suggesting that the changes are caused by stress rather than sleep loss. These findings emphasize the importance of taking stress into account when evaluating the relationship between sleep loss and metabolism

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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