June 29, 2022

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The ultimate meaning of sleep is to repair neuronal DNA damage

Nature Communications: The ultimate meaning of sleep is to repair neuronal DNA damage



 

Nature Communications: The ultimate meaning of sleep is to repair neuronal DNA damage.

Why do animals sleep? Why do humans waste 1/3 of the day sleeping? Sleep is required by all animals with a nervous system.

Nonetheless, scientists do not understand the core cellular functions and biological mechanisms behind sleep, nor are there conserved molecular markers that define sleep cells during phylogeny.

 

Nature Communications: The ultimate meaning of sleep is to repair neuronal DNA damage

Image credit: Nature Communications

 

Scientists from Bar-Ilan University in Israel have uncovered the secrets behind sleep. They found that sleep can increase the movement of chromosomes, thereby reducing the accumulation of DNA damage in neurons.

The related research results were published in “Nature Communications”, entitled “Sleep increases chromosome dynamics to enable reduction of accumulating DNA damage in single neurons.

 

The researchers performed live imaging of chromosomal markers in individual cells of live zebrafish and found that sleep increased chromosome dynamics in individual neurons, but not in the other two types of cells.

 

By manipulating sleep, chromosome dynamics, neuronal activity, and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), the researchers found that chromosome dynamics are low and the number of DSBs increases in the absence of sleep. Sleep, in turn, increases chromosome dynamics, which are critical for reducing the number of DSBs.

 

These findings suggest that chromosome dynamics are a potential marker for identifying individual sleeper cells that function to maintain chromosome stability in the nucleus.

 

Professor Lior appelbaum, corresponding author of the study, said: “We have now found a causal link between sleep, chromosome dynamics, neuronal activity and DNA damage and repair, which is relevant to all living things.  Chances of accumulation of DNA damage in the brain under non-sleep conditions.  Although animals are less alert to their surroundings during sleep, sleep allows animals to effectively maintain chromosomal stability, which may be how sleep evolved throughout the animal kingdom The reason is very conservative. ”

 

References:

Lior appelbaum et al. Sleep increases chromosome dynamics to enable reduction of accumulating DNA damage in single neurons. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-08806-w

Nature Communications: The ultimate meaning of sleep is to repair neuronal DNA damage

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