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Jin, X., Tian, Y., Zhang, Z.C., Gu, P., Liu, C., Han, J. (2021). A subset of DN1p neurons integrates thermosensory inputs to promote wakefulness via CNMa signaling.  Curr. Biol. 31(10): 2075--2087.e6.
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Sleep is an essential and evolutionarily conserved behavior that is modulated by many environmental factors. Ambient temperature shifting usually occurs during climatic or seasonal change or travel from high-latitude area to low-latitude area that affects animal physiology. Increasing ambient temperature modulates sleep in both humans and Drosophila. Although several thermosensory molecules and neurons have been identified, the neural mechanisms that integrate temperature sensation into the sleep neural circuit remain poorly understood. Here, we reveal that prolonged increasing of ambient temperature induces a reversible sleep reduction and impaired sleep consolidation in Drosophila via activating the internal thermosensory anterior cells (ACs). ACs form synaptic contacts with a subset of posterior dorsal neuron 1 (DN1p) neurons and release acetylcholine to promote wakefulness. Furthermore, we identify that this subset of DN1ps promotes wakefulness by releasing CNMamide (CNMa) neuropeptides to inhibit the Dh44-positive pars intercerebralis (PI) neurons through CNMa receptors. Our study demonstrates that the AC-DN1p-PI neural circuit is responsible for integrating thermosensory inputs into the sleep neural circuit. Moreover, we identify the CNMa signaling pathway as a newly recognized wakefulness-promoting DN1 pathway.

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