Nat Rev Neurosci. Auth: P.Franken

Sleep and circadian rhythmicity as entangled processes serving homeostasis

Paul Franken 1Derk-Jan Dijk 2 3

Affiliations expand


Sleep is considered essential for the brain and body. A predominant concept is that sleep is regulated by circadian rhythmicity and sleep homeostasis, processes that were posited to be functionally and mechanistically separate. Here we review and re-evaluate this concept and its assumptions using findings from recent human and rodent studies. Alterations in genes that are central to circadian rhythmicity affect not only sleep timing but also putative markers of sleep homeostasis such as electroencephalogram slow-wave activity (SWA). Perturbations of sleep change the rhythmicity in the expression of core clock genes in tissues outside the central clock. The dynamics of recovery from sleep loss vary across sleep variables: SWA and immediate early genes show an early response, but the recovery of non-rapid eye movement and rapid eye movement sleep follows slower time courses. Changes in the expression of many genes in response to sleep perturbations outlast the effects on SWA and time spent asleep. These findings are difficult to reconcile with the notion that circadian- and sleep-wake-driven processes are mutually independent and that the dynamics of sleep homeostasis are reflected in a single variable. Further understanding of how both sleep and circadian rhythmicity contribute to the homeostasis of essential physiological variables may benefit from the assessment of multiple sleep and molecular variables over longer time scales.

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CIG minisymposium: SNSF Starting grant candidates


December 13

GENOPODE Auditorium A

8:30 Babatunde Ekundayo Accessing DNA in condensed chromatin: Fundamental mechanisms and implications for gene therapy

9:10 Akanksha Jain TBD


10:20 Ehsan Habibi Deciphering the Principles of Embryo Development Across Space and Time  

11:00 Yoav Voichek Transcriptional Regulation in Plants – Unique Properties and Principles

December 14

GENOPODE Auditorium B

8:00 Ricardo Bocchi Molecular mechanisms underlying astrocyte origins and diversity

8:40 Irene Beusch Exploring functions of spliceosomal proteins through CRISPR-Cas9 base editing screens

9:20 Alessandra Brambati DNA Double-Strand Breaks: Drivers of Disease and Evolution

Nat Metab. co-auth.: group Thorens

The glucose transporter 2 regulates CD8+ T cell function via environment sensing. 

Fu H, Vuononvirta J, Fanti S, Bonacina F, D’Amati A, Wang G, Poobalasingam T, Fankhaenel M, Lucchesi D, Coleby R, Tarussio D, Thorens B, Hearnden RJ, Longhi MP, Grevitt P, Sheikh MH, Solito E, Godinho SA, Bombardieri M, Smith DM, Cooper D, Iqbal AJ, Rathmell JC, Schaefer S, Morales V, Bianchi K, Norata GD, Marelli-Berg FM.

Nat Metab. 2023 Nov;5(11):1969-1985. doi: 10.1038/s42255-023-00913-9. Epub 2023 Oct 26.

PMID: 37884694 Free PMC article.

Genome biol. Auth.: group Reymond

Dissecting the autism-associated 16p11.2 locus identifies multiple drivers in neuroanatomical phenotypes and unveils a male-specific role for the major vault protein. 

Kretz PF, Wagner C, Mikhaleva A, Montillot C, Hugel S, Morella I, Kannan M, Fischer MC, Milhau M, Yalcin I, Brambilla R, Selloum M, Herault Y, Reymond A, Collins SC, Yalcin B.

Genome Biol. 2023 Nov 15;24(1):261. doi: 10.1186/s13059-023-03092-8.

PMID: 37968726 Free PMC article.