Sleep-dependent modulation of metabolic rate in Drosophila Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • AbstractDysregulation of sleep is associated with metabolic diseases, and metabolic rate is acutely regulated by sleep-wake behavior. In humans and rodent models, sleep loss is associated with obesity, reduced metabolic rate, and negative energy balance, yet little is known about the neural mechanisms governing interactions between sleep and metabolism. We have developed a system to simultaneously measure sleep and metabolic rate in individual Drosophila, allowing for interrogation of neural systems governing interactions between sleep and metabolic rate. Like mammals, metabolic rate in flies is reduced during sleep and increased during sleep deprivation suggesting sleep-dependent regulation of metabolic rate is conserved across phyla. The reduction of metabolic rate during sleep is not simply a consequence of inactivity because metabolic rate is reduced 30 minutes following the onset of sleep, raising the possibility that CO2 production provides a metric to distinguish different sleep states in the fruit fly. To examine the relationship between sleep and metabolism, we determined basal and sleep-dependent changes in metabolic rate is reduced in starved flies, suggesting that starvation inhibits normal sleep-associated effects on metabolic rate. Further, translin mutant flies that fail to suppress sleep during starvation demonstrate a lower basal metabolic rate, but this rate was further reduced in response to starvation, revealing that regulation of starvation-induced changes in metabolic rate and sleep duration are genetically distinct. Therefore, this system provides the unique ability to simultaneously measure sleep and oxidative metabolism, providing novel insight into the physiological changes associated with sleep and wakefulness in the fruit fly.Significance statementMetabolic disorders are associated with sleep disturbances, yet our understanding of the mechanisms underlying interactions between sleep and metabolism remain limited. Here, we describe a novel system to simultaneously record sleep and metabolic rate in single Drosophila. Our findings reveal that uninterrupted sleep bouts of 30 minutes or greater are associated with a reduction in metabolic rate providing a physiological readout of sleep. Use of this system, combined with existing genetic tools in Drosophila, will facilitate identification of novel sleep genes and neurons, with implications for understanding the relationship between sleep loss and metabolic disease.

altmetric score

  • 9.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Stahl, B. A., Slocumb, M. E., Chaitin, H., DiAngelo, J. R., & Keene, A. C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Stahl, Bethany A||Slocumb, Melissa E||Chaitin, Hersh||DiAngelo, Justin R||Keene, Alex C

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • April 2017