Increased food intake after starvation enhances sleep in Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT: Feeding and sleep are highly conserved, interconnected behaviors essential for survival. Starvation has been shown to potently suppress sleep across species; however, whether satiety promotes sleep is still unclear. Here we use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism to address the interaction between feeding and sleep. We first monitored the sleep of flies that had been starved for 24 h and found that sleep amount increased in the first 4 h after flies were given food. Increased sleep after starvation was due to an increase in sleep bout number and average sleep bout length. Mutants of translin or adipokinetic hormone, which fail to suppress sleep during starvation, still exhibited a sleep increase after starvation, suggesting that sleep increase after starvation is not a consequence of sleep loss during starvation. We also found that feeding activity and food consumption were higher in the first 10-30 min after starvation. Restricting food consumption in starved flies to 30 min was sufficient to increase sleep for 1 h. Although flies ingested a comparable amount of food at differing sucrose concentrations, sleep increase after starvation on a lower sucrose concentration was undetectable. Taken together, our results suggest that increased food intake after starvation enhances sleep and reveals a novel relationship between feeding and sleep.
Project description:Starvation reduces sleep in various animal species including humans and fruit flies. Immediate hunger and the following insufficient nutritional status resulting from starvation may affect sleep and arousal differently. In order to clarify the mechanism underlying the relationship between diet and sleep, we analysed the sleep behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster that were either starved or fed with different types of sugars. Starved flies showed longer activity bouts, short sleep bouts and a decreased arousal threshold. Non-nutritive sweeteners such as sucralose and arabinose, which are sweet but not nutritive, induced sleep in starved flies, but sleep bout length and the arousal threshold was short and decreased, respectively. On the other hand, sorbitol, which is not sweet but nutritive, did not induce sleep, but slightly increased the lowered arousal threshold. Activation of sweetness receptor expressing neurons induced sleep in starved flies. These results suggest that sweetness alone is sufficient to induce sleep in starved flies and that the nutritional status affects sleep homeostasis by decreasing the arousal threshold, which resulted in short sleep bouts in Drosophila.
Project description:Neural systems controlling the vital functions of sleep and feeding in mammals are tightly interconnected: sleep deprivation promotes feeding, whereas starvation suppresses sleep. Here we show that starvation in Drosophila potently suppresses sleep, suggesting that these two homeostatically regulated behaviors are also integrated in flies. The sleep-suppressing effect of starvation is independent of the mushroom bodies, a previously identified sleep locus in the fly brain, and therefore is regulated by distinct neural circuitry. The circadian clock genes Clock (Clk) and cycle (cyc) are critical for proper sleep suppression during starvation. However, the sleep suppression is independent of light cues and of circadian rhythms as shown by the fact that starved period mutants sleep like wild-type flies. By selectively targeting subpopulations of Clk-expressing neurons, we localize the observed sleep phenotype to the dorsally located circadian neurons. These findings show that Clk and cyc act during starvation to modulate the conflict of whether flies sleep or search for food.
Project description:Animals respond to changes in food availability by adjusting sleep and foraging strategies to optimize their fitness. Wild populations of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, display highly variable levels of starvation resistance that are dependent on geographic location, food availability and evolutionary history. How behaviors that include sleep and feeding vary in Drosophila with increased starvation resistance is unclear. We have generated starvation-resistant flies through experimental evolution to investigate the relationship between foraging behaviors and starvation resistance. Outbred populations of D. melanogaster were selected for starvation resistance over 60 generations. This selection process resulted in flies with a threefold increase in total lipids that survive up to 18 days without food. We tested starvation-selected (S) flies for sleep and feeding behaviors to determine the effect that selection for starvation resistance has had on foraging behavior. Flies from three replicated starvation-selected populations displayed a dramatic reduction in feeding and prolonged sleep duration compared to fed control (F) populations, suggesting that modified sleep and feeding may contribute to starvation resistance. A prolonged larval developmental period contributes to the elevated energy stores present in starvation-selected flies. By preventing S larvae from feeding longer than F larvae, we were able to reduce energy stores in adult S flies to the levels seen in adult F flies, thus allowing us to control for energy storage levels. However, the reduction of energy stores in S flies fails to generate normal sleep and feeding behavior seen in F flies with similar energy stores. These findings suggest that the behavioral changes observed in S flies are due to genetic regulation of behavior rather than elevated lipid levels. Testing S-F hybrid individuals for both feeding and sleep revealed a lack of correlation between food consumption and sleep duration, indicating further independence in genetic factors underlying the sleep and feeding changes observed in S flies. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that starvation selection results in prolonged sleep and reduced feeding through a mechanism that is independent of elevated energy stores. These findings suggest that changes in both metabolic function and behavior contribute to the increase in starvation resistance seen in flies selected for starvation resistance.
Project description:Sleep is vital for survival. Yet under environmentally challenging conditions, such as starvation, animals suppress their need for sleep. Interestingly, starvation-induced sleep loss does not evoke a subsequent sleep rebound. Little is known about how starvation-induced sleep deprivation differs from other types of sleep loss, or why some sleep functions become dispensable during starvation. Here, we demonstrate that down-regulation of the secreted cytokine unpaired 2 (upd2) in Drosophila flies may mimic a starved-like state. We used a genetic knockdown strategy to investigate the consequences of upd2 on visual attention and sleep in otherwise well-fed flies, thereby sidestepping the negative side effects of undernourishment. We find that knockdown of upd2 in the fat body (FB) is sufficient to suppress sleep and promote feeding-related behaviors while also improving selective visual attention. Furthermore, we show that this peripheral signal is integrated in the fly brain via insulin-expressing cells. Together, these findings identify a role for peripheral tissue-to-brain interactions in the simultaneous regulation of sleep quality and attention, to potentially promote adaptive behaviors necessary for survival in hungry animals.
Project description:Large genetic variations in starvation tolerance in animals indicate that there are multiple strategies to cope with low-nutrient conditions. Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) typically respond to starvation by suppressing sleep and enhancing locomotor activity presumably to search for food. However, we hypothesized that in a natural population, there are costs and benefits to sleep suppression under low-nutrient conditions and that conserving energy through sleep could be a better strategy depending on food availability. In this study, we quantified the variation in sleep-related traits in 21 wild-derived inbred lines from Katsunuma, Japan, under fed and starved conditions and analysed the relationship between those traits and starvation tolerance. Although most of the lines responded to starvation by suppressing the total time in sleep, there were indeed two lines that responded by significantly increasing the sleep-bout durations and thus not reducing the total time in sleep. These genotypes survived longer in acute starvation conditions compared to genotypes that responded by the immediate suppression of sleep, which could be due to the reduced metabolic rate during the long uninterrupted sleep bouts. The coexistence of the enhanced foraging and resting strategies upon starvation within a single population is consistent with the presence of a behavioural trade-off between food search and energy conservation due to unpredictable food availability in nature. These results provide insights into the evolutionary mechanisms that contribute to the maintenance of genetic variations underlying environmental stress resistance.
Project description:Dysregulation of sleep and feeding has widespread health consequences. Despite extensive epidemiological evidence for interactions between sleep and metabolic function, little is known about the neural or molecular basis underlying the integration of these processes. D. melanogaster potently suppress sleep in response to starvation, and powerful genetic tools allow for mechanistic investigation of sleep-metabolism interactions. We have previously identified neurons expressing the neuropeptide leucokinin (Lk) as being required for starvation-mediated changes in sleep. Here, we demonstrate an essential role for Lk neuropeptide in metabolic regulation of sleep. The activity of Lk neurons is modulated by feeding, with reduced activity in response to glucose and increased activity under starvation conditions. Both genetic silencing and laser-mediated microablation localize Lk-dependent sleep regulation to a single pair of Lk neurons within the Lateral Horn (LHLK neurons). A targeted screen identified a role for 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in starvation-modulated changes in sleep. Knockdown of AMPK in Lk neurons suppresses sleep and increases LHLK neuron activity in fed flies, phenocopying the starvation state. Further, we find a requirement for the Lk receptor in the insulin-producing cells (IPCs), suggesting LHLK-IPC connectivity is critical for sleep regulation under starved conditions. Taken together, these findings localize feeding-state-dependent regulation of sleep to a single pair of neurons within the fruit fly brain and provide a system for investigating the cellular basis of sleep-metabolism interactions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:One hypothesis for the function of sleep is that it serves as a mechanism to conserve energy. Recent studies have suggested that increased sleep can be an adaptive mechanism to improve survival under food deprivation in Drosophila melanogaster. To test the generality of this hypothesis, we compared sleep and its plastic response to starvation in a temperate and tropical population of Drosophila melanogaster. RESULTS:We found that flies from the temperate population were more starvation resistant, and hypothesized that they would engage in behaviors that are considered to conserve energy, including increased sleep and reduced movement. Surprisingly, temperate flies slept less and moved more when they were awake compared to tropical flies, both under fed and starved conditions, therefore sleep did not correlate with population-level differences in starvation resistance. In contrast, total sleep and percent change in sleep when starved were strongly positively correlated with starvation resistance within the tropical population, but not within the temperate population. Thus, we observe unexpectedly complex relationships between starvation and sleep that vary both within and across populations. These observations falsify the simple hypothesis of a straightforward relationship between sleep and energy conservation. We also tested the hypothesis that starvation is correlated with metabolic phenotypes by investigating stored lipid and carbohydrate levels, and found that stored metabolites partially contributed towards variation starvation resistance. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate that the function of sleep under starvation can rapidly evolve on short timescales and raise new questions about the physiological correlates of sleep and the extent to which variation in sleep is shaped by natural selection.
Project description:Hunger is a powerful drive that stimulates food intake. Yet, the mechanism that determines how the energy deficits that result in hunger are represented in the brain and promote feeding is not well understood. We previously described SLC5A11-a sodium/solute co-transporter-like-(or cupcake) in Drosophila melanogaster, which is required for the fly to select a nutritive sugar over a sweeter nonnutritive sugar after periods of food deprivation. SLC5A11 acts on approximately 12 pairs of ellipsoid body (EB) R4 neurons to trigger the selection of nutritive sugars, but the underlying mechanism is not understood. Here, we report that the excitability of SLC5A11-expressing EB R4 neurons increases dramatically during starvation and that this increase is abolished in the SLC5A11 mutation. Artificial activation of SLC5A11-expresssing neurons is sufficient to promote feeding and hunger-driven behaviors; silencing these neurons has the opposite effect. Notably, SLC5A11 transcript levels in the brain increase significantly when flies are starved and decrease shortly after starved flies are refed. Furthermore, expression of SLC5A11 is sufficient for promoting hunger-driven behaviors and enhancing the excitability of SLC5A11-expressing neurons. SLC5A11 inhibits the function of the Drosophila KCNQ potassium channel in a heterologous expression system. Accordingly, a knockdown of dKCNQ expression in SLC5A11-expressing neurons produces hunger-driven behaviors even in fed flies, mimicking the overexpression of SLC5A11. We propose that starvation increases SLC5A11 expression, which enhances the excitability of SLC5A11-expressing neurons by suppressing dKCNQ channels, thereby conferring the hunger state.
Project description:Dysregulation of sleep is associated with metabolic diseases, and metabolic rate (MR) 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 MR in individual Drosophila, allowing for interrogation of neural systems governing interactions between sleep and metabolic rate.Like mammals, MR in flies is reduced during sleep and increased during sleep deprivation suggesting sleep-dependent regulation of MR is conserved across phyla. The reduction of MR during sleep is not simply a consequence of inactivity because MR 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 MR 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 MR 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.
Project description:Feeding behavior is influenced primarily by two factors: nutritional needs and food palatability. However, the role of food deprivation and metabolic needs in the selection of appropriate food is poorly understood. Here, we show that the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, selects calorie-rich foods following prolonged food deprivation in the absence of taste-receptor signaling. Flies mutant for the sugar receptors Gr5a and Gr64a cannot detect the taste of sugar, but still consumed sugar over plain agar after 15 h of starvation. Similarly, pox-neuro mutants that are insensitive to the taste of sugar preferentially consumed sugar over plain agar upon starvation. Moreover, when given a choice between metabolizable sugar (sucrose or D-glucose) and nonmetabolizable (zero-calorie) sugar (sucralose or L-glucose), starved Gr5a; Gr64a double mutants preferred metabolizable sugars. These findings suggest the existence of a taste-independent metabolic sensor that functions in food selection. The preference for calorie-rich food correlates with a decrease in the two main hemolymph sugars, trehalose and glucose, and in glycogen stores, indicating that this sensor is triggered when the internal energy sources are depleted. Thus, the need to replenish depleted energy stores during periods of starvation may be met through the activity of a taste-independent metabolic sensing pathway.