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Decoding metabolic and epigenetic disorders caused by adolescence sleep deprivation

The project, SmartSense, proposes to investigate, in a mouse model, how adolescence sleep deprivation elicits long-term metabolic imbalance, by deciphering molecular mechanisms of the brain-adipose tissue crosstalk.

SmartSense is coordinated by Philippe Collas, Professor and head of the Stem Cell Epigenetics Group at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine. The consortium includes as principal investigators Dr. Nolwenn Briand, Project Leader at IMB and expert in adipose tissue biology, Charlotte Boccara, Project Leader at IMB, expert in the neurophysiology of sleep, and Ørjan Martinsen, Professor in electronics and head of the Oslo Bioimpedance and Medical Technology Group at the Physics Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Obesity and bad sleep habits among teenagers are two rising and intertwined health concerns. Studies trace obesity to poor sleep hygiene: this is concerning because adolescents get less and less sleep as screens invade their bedroom, and obese children have a strong risk to later develop cardiometabolic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Yet, we still do not know why sleep is important for metabolic health.  We will develop mouse models and new “smart” sensors to wirelessly monitor brain-fat tissue communication in real-time. With such breakthrough techniques, we will study how sleep deprivation during adolescence affects fat tissue development and the emergence of metabolic disorders later in life. One of our core hypotheses is that this long-term effect is written on top of our DNA during adolescence and remains for the rest of our life, as an epigenetic memory. Our ambition is to understand whether sleep would be a new therapeutic target for prevention and treatment of obesity and other metabolic disorders.

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Concept of SmartSense. Obesity and metabolic disorders can be traced to poor sleep hygiene in adolescents. We aim to identify mechanisms underlying the impact of adolescence sleep deprivation on adipose tissue maturation and metabolic homeostasis in the young and in adulthood, while developing smart sensors to monitor the brain-adipose communication in real time.


Published Feb. 15, 2022 10:04 AM - Last modified Feb. 15, 2022 12:12 PM