Who control the sleep mechanism switch
- Feb 02, 2018 -



Sleeping is a common feature of animals. The statistics of large samples are based on the participants' apparent reactions to the conclusion that "sleep for X hours and spirits all day long". But who is controlling the sleep of animals, there are still many unknown. Scientists hope to find out from the molecular level to control the sleep mechanism of the "switch", opened the mystery of sleep mechanism.


In their many years of research, scientists found that the process of human sleep and wake is regulated by two mechanisms: circadian rhythm and the balance of state in the body. The two systems work together to determine when to sleep, how long to sleep, and the quality of sleep.


Gero Miesenbock, a professor at the University of Oxford, UK, has nearly 50 years of sleep mechanism switch research experience. In 2014, he and collaborator Jeffrey Donlea wrote in Neuron claiming to discover a "switch" that controls sleep in the brain of Drosophila. They think this sleep "switch" is sleep-regulated by nerve cells in the brain. When the body is exhausted, the "switch" will shout to the brain to remind you to take a rest [9]. In August 2016, Gero Miesenbock wrote another article in "Nature" that revealed the molecular mechanism that affects Drosophila sleep switches. In their view, the sleep switch is not closed, only the two states. Using optogenetic techniques to stimulate the production of dopamine, when the dopamine system is activated, the sleep-controlling neurons in the fruit fly's brain are "silent" and the fruit flies wake up. When dopamine transport is blocked, sleep Controlling the neurons will return to the electroactive state, so the flies will sleep in the past. At first glance, this is somewhat similar to a "thermostat" that automatically regulates the temperature [10].


Peking University professor Rao Yi group also has more than 10 years of accumulation in the molecular mechanism of sleep science. On September 22, 2016, he presented his group at "Tsinghua Tsinghua Life Science Lecture Series" at Tsinghua University and has not yet officially published Using genetics and molecular biology to study Drosophila, mouse and human sleep mechanism research. Rao Yi research group using nearly 11 years, the development of the chemical connection group method (CCT), this method is based on the molecular biology of synaptic neurotransmitters and their receptor-related proteins, combined with genetic means of operation, the use of logic gates Of reasoning, discovering and elucidating structural and functional loops, and providing new avenues of researching behavior and cognitive loops [11].


Outside temperature, light and human factors also affect human sleep. In the special "sleepy" crowd, except for those who have sleep disorders and can not sleep, there are still quite a few reluctant to sleep in the crowd.