Publications by authors named "Francesco La Spada"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Altered Sleep Homeostasis in Rev-erbα Knockout Mice.

Sleep 2016 Mar 1;39(3):589-601. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Study Objectives: The nuclear receptor REV-ERBα is a potent, constitutive transcriptional repressor critical for the regulation of key circadian and metabolic genes. Recently, REV-ERBα's involvement in learning, neurogenesis, mood, and dopamine turnover was demonstrated suggesting a specific role in central nervous system functioning. We have previously shown that the brain expression of several core clock genes, including Rev-erbα, is modulated by sleep loss. We here test the consequences of a loss of REV-ERBα on the homeostatic regulation of sleep.

Methods: EEG/EMG signals were recorded in Rev-erbα knockout (KO) mice and their wild type (WT) littermates during baseline, sleep deprivation, and recovery. Cortical gene expression measurements after sleep deprivation were contrasted to baseline.

Results: Although baseline sleep/wake duration was remarkably similar, KO mice showed an advance of the sleep/wake distribution relative to the light-dark cycle. After sleep onset in baseline and after sleep deprivation, both EEG delta power (1-4 Hz) and sleep consolidation were reduced in KO mice indicating a slower increase of homeostatic sleep need during wakefulness. This slower increase might relate to the smaller increase in theta and gamma power observed in the waking EEG prior to sleep onset under both conditions. Indeed, the increased theta activity during wakefulness predicted delta power in subsequent NREM sleep. Lack of Rev-erbα increased Bmal1, Npas2, Clock, and Fabp7 expression, confirming the direct regulation of these genes by REV-ERBα also in the brain.

Conclusions: Our results add further proof to the notion that clock genes are involved in sleep homeostasis. Because accumulating evidence directly links REV-ERBα to dopamine signaling the altered homeostatic regulation of sleep reported here are discussed in that context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.5534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4763348PMC
March 2016

Neuroligin-1 links neuronal activity to sleep-wake regulation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Jun 28;110(24):9974-9. Epub 2013 May 28.

Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7.

Maintaining wakefulness is associated with a progressive increase in the need for sleep. This phenomenon has been linked to changes in synaptic function. The synaptic adhesion molecule Neuroligin-1 (NLG1) controls the activity and synaptic localization of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors, which activity is impaired by prolonged wakefulness. We here highlight that this pathway may underlie both the adverse effects of sleep loss on cognition and the subsequent changes in cortical synchrony. We found that the expression of specific Nlg1 transcript variants is changed by sleep deprivation in three mouse strains. These observations were associated with strain-specific changes in synaptic NLG1 protein content. Importantly, we showed that Nlg1 knockout mice are not able to sustain wakefulness and spend more time in nonrapid eye movement sleep than wild-type mice. These changes occurred with modifications in waking quality as exemplified by low theta/alpha activity during wakefulness and poor preference for social novelty, as well as altered delta synchrony during sleep. Finally, we identified a transcriptional pathway that could underlie the sleep/wake-dependent changes in Nlg1 expression and that involves clock transcription factors. We thus suggest that NLG1 is an element that contributes to the coupling of neuronal activity to sleep/wake regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1221381110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683757PMC
June 2013

Sleep loss reduces the DNA-binding of BMAL1, CLOCK, and NPAS2 to specific clock genes in the mouse cerebral cortex.

PLoS One 2011 24;6(10):e26622. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

We have previously demonstrated that clock genes contribute to the homeostatic aspect of sleep regulation. Indeed, mutations in some clock genes modify the markers of sleep homeostasis and an increase in homeostatic sleep drive alters clock gene expression in the forebrain. Here, we investigate a possible mechanism by which sleep deprivation (SD) could alter clock gene expression by quantifying DNA-binding of the core-clock transcription factors CLOCK, NPAS2, and BMAL1 to the cis-regulatory sequences of target clock genes in mice. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we first showed that, as reported for the liver, DNA-binding of CLOCK and BMAL1 to target clock genes changes in function of time-of-day in the cerebral cortex. Tissue extracts were collected at ZT0 (light onset), -6, -12, and -18, and DNA enrichment of E-box or E'-box containing sequences was measured by qPCR. CLOCK and BMAL1 binding to Cry1, Dbp, Per1, and Per2 depended on time-of-day, with maximum values reached at around ZT6. We then observed that SD, performed between ZT0 and -6, significantly decreased DNA-binding of CLOCK and BMAL1 to Dbp, consistent with the observed decrease in Dbp mRNA levels after SD. The DNA-binding of NPAS2 and BMAL1 to Per2 was also decreased by SD, although SD is known to increase Per2 expression in the cortex. DNA-binding to Per1 and Cry1 was not affected by SD. Our results show that the sleep-wake history can affect the clock molecular machinery directly at the level of chromatin binding thereby altering the cortical expression of Dbp and Per2 and likely other targets. Although the precise dynamics of the relationship between DNA-binding and mRNA expression, especially for Per2, remains elusive, the results also suggest that part of the reported circadian changes in DNA-binding of core clock components in tissues peripheral to the suprachiasmatic nuclei could, in fact, be sleep-wake driven.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0026622PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200344PMC
February 2012
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