A dynamic role for the mushroom bodies in promoting sleep in Drosophila

Nature. 2006 Jun 8;441(7094):753-6. doi: 10.1038/nature04739.


The fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, exhibits many of the cardinal features of sleep, yet little is known about the neural circuits governing its sleep. Here we have performed a screen of GAL4 lines expressing a temperature-sensitive synaptic blocker shibire(ts1) (ref. 2) in a range of discrete neural circuits, and assayed the amount of sleep at different temperatures. We identified three short-sleep lines at the restrictive temperature with shared expression in the mushroom bodies, a neural locus central to learning and memory. Chemical ablation of the mushroom bodies also resulted in reduced sleep. These studies highlight a central role for the mushroom bodies in sleep regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Darkness
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Reporter / genetics
  • Homeostasis
  • Hydroxyurea / pharmacology
  • Learning / physiology
  • Light
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Mushroom Bodies / physiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Sleep / genetics
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep / radiation effects
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors


  • Hydroxyurea