Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New brain protein regulates sleep and anxiety

19.08.2004


Findings point to a different way to treat sleep disorders and anxiety



UC Irvine pharmacology researchers have found how a recently discovered brain protein plays a major role regulating sleep and stress – a discovery that can lead to a new class of drugs for treating ailments ranging from sleep and anxiety disorders to attention deficit disorder.

The UCI team conducted tests to see how neuropeptide S (NPS) affected behavioral responses in rodents. They found that NPS increases alertness, suppresses sleep and even controls stress responses. This establishes NPS, which was first discovered in 2002, as an important modulator of sleep and alertness. This study also suggests NPS has potential as a target for new drugs to treat sleep disorders. The study appears in the Aug. 19 issue of Neuron.


"Since our knowledge of NPS is so new, we may be at the tip of the iceberg in understanding its function," said Rainer Reinscheid, assistant adjunct professor in pharmacology and lead researcher in the study. "We’ve found NPS to be so active with sleep and anxiety behavior that it can be a very attractive drug target, both to enhance and to suppress its function."

In testing how NPS is involved with both sleep regulation and stress behaviors, the researchers found that NPS is produced by previously unidentified neurons in a brain stem region known for regulating arousal and anxiety. Further tests demonstrated that rats injected with NPS showed increased alertness and reduced slow-wave and REM sleep over untreated rats.

NPS receptor proteins were also detected in stress-related brain regions such as the amygdala and thalamus. In behavior tests that measure their stress-related anxiety, mice injected with NPS show fewer anxiety responses and increased activity than untreated mice. Sleep and fatigue are in a balance – insufficient sleep will increase fatigue, and only sleeping can reduce fatigue. There is a variety of sleep and fatigue disorders, which range from the most severe affecting only a set of individuals to mild ones nearly everyone will encounter.

The most severe form of sleep disorder is narcolepsy, in which affected individuals suffer from irresistible sleep attacks. Most common is the excessive daytime sleepiness that may result from chronic sleep deprivation or sleep impairments. Very little is known about the basic mechanisms that regulate these physiological responses, but the UCI study provides a first glance at a neuropeptide that affects these sleep mechanisms.

"Some 100,000 Americans are currently treated for excessive daytime sleepiness, but the number of the undiagnosed is far larger," said study co-author Olivier Civelli, the Eric L. and Lila D. Nelson Chair in Neuropharmacology at UCI. "Furthermore, symptoms of sleepiness, often recognized as fatigue, are associated with numerous other illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and also depression. If it can be shown that the NPS system is a major modulator of fatigue, then its therapeutic potentials will be immense."

Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uci.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State

nachricht New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>