Sleep increases chromosome dynamics to enable reduction of accumulating DNA damage in single neurons

D. Zada, I. Bronshtein, T. Lerer-Goldshtein, Y. Garini, L. Appelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Sleep is essential to all animals with a nervous system. Nevertheless, the core cellular function of sleep is unknown, and there is no conserved molecular marker to define sleep across phylogeny. Time-lapse imaging of chromosomal markers in single cells of live zebrafish revealed that sleep increases chromosome dynamics in individual neurons but not in two other cell types. Manipulation of sleep, chromosome dynamics, neuronal activity, and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) showed that chromosome dynamics are low and the number of DSBs accumulates during wakefulness. In turn, sleep increases chromosome dynamics, which are necessary to reduce the amount of DSBs. These results establish chromosome dynamics as a potential marker to define single sleeping cells, and propose that the restorative function of sleep is nuclear maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number895
Pages (from-to)895
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the members of the Appelbaum lab for technical assistance, Noa Alon for assistance in designing the schematic illustrations, and Luis de Lecea, David Klein, German Sumbre, Eran Meshorer, and Ofer Yizhar for helpful discussions and comments. The authors also thank Ms. Sharon Victor for assistance in editing the manuscript. This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant no. 690/ 15 to L.A.) and by the US–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF, Grant no. 2017105 to L.A.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).


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