Endocytosis at the Drosophila blood-brain barrier as a function for sleep

Elife. 2018 Nov 26;7:e43326. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43326.


Glia are important modulators of neural activity, yet few studies link glia to sleep regulation. We find that blocking activity of the endocytosis protein, dynamin, in adult Drosophila glia increases sleep and enhances sleep need, manifest as resistance to sleep deprivation. Surface glia comprising the fly equivalent of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) mediate the effect of dynamin on sleep. Blocking dynamin in the surface glia causes ultrastructural changes, albeit without compromising the integrity of the barrier. Supporting a role for endocytic trafficking in sleep, a screen of Rab GTPases identifies sleep-modulating effects of the recycling endosome Rab11 in surface glia. We also find that endocytosis is increased in BBB glia during sleep and reflects sleep need. We propose that endocytic trafficking through the BBB represents a function of sleep.

Keywords: D. melanogaster; blood-brain barrier; endocytosis; glia; neuroscience; sleep.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Dynamins / metabolism
  • Endocytosis*
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Sleep*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Rab11 protein, Drosophila
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Dynamins