Sleep during development is involved in refining brain circuitry, but a role for sleep in the earliest periods of nervous system elaboration, when neurons are first being born, has not been explored. Here we identify a sleep state in Drosophila larvae that coincides with a major wave of neurogenesis. Mechanisms controlling larval sleep are partially distinct from adult sleep: octopamine, the Drosophila analog of mammalian norepinephrine, is the major arousal neuromodulator in larvae, but dopamine is not required. Using real-time behavioral monitoring in a closed-loop sleep deprivation system, we find that sleep loss in larvae impairs cell division of neural progenitors. This work establishes a system uniquely suited for studying sleep during nascent periods, and demonstrates that sleep in early life regulates neural stem cell proliferation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)