Monday, January 09, 2012

Sleep and longevity, always linked

Pan-neuronal knockdown of the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) results in a reduction in sleep and longevity in Drosophila.:

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Dec 16;
Authors: Takahama K, Tomita J, Ueno T, Yamazaki M, Kume S, Kume K

Sleep is a unique behavioral state that is conserved between species, and sleep regulation is closely associated to metabolism and aging. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster has been used to study the molecular mechanism underlying these physiological processes. Here we show that the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) gene, known as basket (bsk) in Drosophila, functions in neurons to regulate both sleep and longevity in Drosophila. Pan-neuronal knockdown of JNK mRNA expression by RNA interference resulted in a decrease in both sleep and longevity. A heterozygous knockout of JNK showed similar effects, indicating the molecular specificity. The JNK knockdown showed a normal arousal threshold and sleep rebound, suggesting that the basic sleep mechanism was not affected. JNK is known to be involved in the insulin pathway, which regulates metabolism and longevity. A JNK knockdown in insulin-producing neurons in the pars intercerebralis had slight effects on sleep. However, knocking down JNK in the mushroom body had a significant effect on sleep. These data suggest a unique sleep regulating pathway for JNK.

PMID: 22197814 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]