Neurobiology of Sleep Demystified by Indian-Origin Scientist's Find on Worms

by Kathy Jones on  May 7, 2011 at 8:06 PM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

The neurobiology of sleep in a wide variety of creatures, including humans, may be explained by a new worm research, led by an Indian-origin scientist.
 Neurobiology of Sleep Demystified by Indian-Origin Scientist's Find on Worms
Neurobiology of Sleep Demystified by Indian-Origin Scientist's Find on Worms

Komudi Singh, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University and colleagues from several other institutions have found that 'Notch', a fundamental signaling pathway found in all animals, is directly involved in sleep in the nematode C. elegans.

"This pathway is a major player in development across all animal species," said Anne Hart, associate professor of neuroscience at Brown.

"The fact that this highly conserved pathway regulates how much these little animals sleep strongly suggests that it's going to play a critical role in other animals, including humans. The genes in this pathway are expressed in the human brain," she said.

The findings, Hart added, could help to develop more precise and safer sleep aids.

Hart found that adult nematodes in which Notch pathway genes (like osm-11) were overexpressed were doing something quite bizarre.

"Normally, adult nematodes spend all of their time moving. But, these animals suddenly start taking spontaneous 'naps.' It was the oddest thing I'd seen in my career," she said.

Other experiments showed that worms lacking osm-11 and the related osm-7 genes were hyperactive, exhibiting twice as many body bends each minute as normal nematodes.

In humans, the gene that is most similar to osm-11 is called Deltalike1 (abbreviated DLK1). It is expressed in regions of the brain associated with the sleep-wake cycle.

The study is detailed in the May 24 issue of the journal Current Biology.

Source: ANI

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Snoring Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking Periodic Limb Movement Disorder REM Behavior Disorder Sleep Disturbances In Women Sleep Insomnia Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sleep Disorders: A Prelude 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive

Loading...