The role of the mammalian prion protein in the control of sleep

Roguski, Amber and Gill, Andrew C. (2017) The role of the mammalian prion protein in the control of sleep. Pathogens, 6 (4). p. 58. ISSN 2076-0817

Full content URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0817/6/4/58

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Abstract

Sleep disruption is a prevalent clinical feature in many neurodegenerative disorders, including human prion diseases where it can be the defining dysfunction, as in the case of the “eponymous” fatal familial insomnia, or an early-stage symptom as in certain types of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is important to establish the role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), the key molecule involved in prion pathogenesis, within the sleep-wake system in order to understand fully the mechanisms underlying its contribution to both healthy circadian rhythmicity and sleep dysfunction during disease. Although severe disruption to the circadian rhythm and melatonin release is evident during the pathogenic phases of some prion diseases, untangling whether PrPC plays a role in circadian rhythmicity, as suggested in mice deficient for PrPC expression, is challenging given the lack of basic experimental research. We provide a short review of the small amount of direct literature focused on the role of PrPC in melatonin and circadian rhythm regulation, as well as suggesting mechanisms by which PrPC might exert influence upon noradrenergic and dopaminergic signaling and melatonin synthesis. Future research in this area should focus upon isolating the points of dysfunction within the retino-pineal pathway and further investigate PrPC mediation of pinealocyte GPCR activity.

Keywords:prion, sleep, circadian rhythm, melatonin, serotonin
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C760 Biomolecular Science
C Biological Sciences > C742 Veterinary Biochemistry
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B140 Neuroscience
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D320 Animal Health
Divisions:College of Science
ID Code:29645
Deposited On:17 Nov 2017 12:02

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