High nocturnal sleep fragmentation is associated with low T lymphocyte P2Y11 protein levels in narcolepsy type 1

Sleep. 2021 Aug 13;44(8):zsab062. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab062.


Study objectives: Narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) is associated with hypocretin neuron loss. However, there are still unexplained phenotypic NT1 features. We investigated the associations between clinical and sleep phenotypic characteristics, the NT1-associated P2RY11 polymorphism rs2305795, and P2Y11 protein levels in T lymphocytes in patients with NT1, their first-degree relatives and unrelated controls.

Methods: The P2RY11 SNP was genotyped in 100 patients (90/100 H1N1-(Pandemrix)-vaccinated), 119 related and 123 non-related controls. CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte P2Y11 protein levels were quantified using flow cytometry in 167 patients and relatives. Symptoms and sleep recording parameters were also collected.

Results: We found an association between NT1 and the rs2305795 A allele (OR = 2, 95% CI (1.3, 3.0), p = 0.001). T lymphocyte P2Y11 protein levels were significantly lower in patients and relatives homozygous for the rs2305795 risk A allele (CD4: p = 0.012; CD8: p = 0.007). The nocturnal sleep fragmentation index was significantly negatively correlated with patients' P2Y11 protein levels (CD4: p = 0.004; CD8: p = 0.006). Mean MSLT sleep latency, REM-sleep latency, and core clinical symptoms were not associated with P2Y11 protein levels.

Conclusions: We confirmed that the P2RY11 polymorphism rs2305795 is associated with NT1 also in a mainly H1N1-(Pandemrix)-vaccinated cohort. We demonstrated that homozygosity for the A risk allele is associated with lower P2Y11 protein levels. A high level of nocturnal sleep fragmentation was associated with low P2Y11 levels in patients. This suggests that P2Y11 has a previously unknown function in sleep-wake stabilization that affects the severity of NT1.

Keywords: P2RY11; P2Y11; narcolepsy 1; sleep fragmentation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype* / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Narcolepsy* / genetics
  • Sleep / genetics
  • Sleep Deprivation / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes


  • Influenza Vaccines