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Brain Sci. 2014, 4(3), 453-470; doi:10.3390/brainsci4030453

Larval Population Density Alters Adult Sleep in Wild-Type Drosophila melanogaster but Not in Amnesiac Mutant Flies

1
National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
2
Volen National Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
3
Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
4
Department of Biology, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 27 June 2014 / Accepted: 28 June 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Brain Development)
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Abstract

Sleep has many important biological functions, but how sleep is regulated remains poorly understood. In humans, social isolation and other stressors early in life can disrupt adult sleep. In fruit flies housed at different population densities during early adulthood, social enrichment was shown to increase subsequent sleep, but it is unknown if population density during early development can also influence adult sleep. To answer this question, we maintained Drosophila larvae at a range of population densities throughout larval development, kept them isolated during early adulthood, and then tested their sleep patterns. Our findings reveal that flies that had been isolated as larvae had more fragmented sleep than those that had been raised at higher population densities. This effect was more prominent in females than in males. Larval population density did not affect sleep in female flies that were mutant for amnesiac, which has been shown to be required for normal memory consolidation, adult sleep regulation, and brain development. In contrast, larval population density effects on sleep persisted in female flies lacking the olfactory receptor or83b, suggesting that olfactory signals are not required for the effects of larval population density on adult sleep. These findings show that population density during early development can alter sleep behavior in adulthood, suggesting that genetic and/or structural changes are induced by this developmental manipulation that persist through metamorphosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Drosophila; sleep; development; social isolation and enrichment; population density; amnesiac; or83b Drosophila; sleep; development; social isolation and enrichment; population density; amnesiac; or83b
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chi, M.W.; Griffith, L.C.; Vecsey, C.G. Larval Population Density Alters Adult Sleep in Wild-Type Drosophila melanogaster but Not in Amnesiac Mutant Flies. Brain Sci. 2014, 4, 453-470.

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