Large Ventral Lateral Neurons Modulate Arousal and Sleep in Drosophila

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Background: Large ventral lateral clock neurons (lLNvs) exhibit higher daytime-light-driven spontaneous action-potential firing rates in Drosophila, coinciding with wakefulness and locomotor-activity behavior. To determine whether the lLNvs are involved in arousal and sleep/wake behavior, we examined the effects of altered electrical excitation of the LNvs. Results: LNv-hyperexcited flies reverse the normal day-night firing pattern, showing higher lLNv firing rates at night and pigment-dispersing-factor-mediated enhancement of nocturnal locomotor-activity behavior and reduced quantity and quality of sleep. lLNv hyperexcitation impairs sensory arousal, as shown by physiological and behavioral assays. lLNv-hyperexcited flies lacking sLNvs exhibit robust hyperexcitation-induced increases in nocturnal behavior, suggesting that the sLNvs are not essential for mediation of arousal. Conclusions: Light-activated lLNvs modulate behavioral arousal and sleep in Drosophila. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Sheeba, V., Fogle, K. J., Kaneko, M., Rashid, S., Chou, Y. T., Sharma, V. K., & Holmes, T. C. (2008). Large Ventral Lateral Neurons Modulate Arousal and Sleep in Drosophila. Current Biology, 18(20), 1537–1545.

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