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Wong, Patricia (2014) MELANOPSIN GENE VARIANTS AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN SLEEP CHARACTERISTICS. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Light has a significant influence on sleep behaviors by influencing the circadian regulation of sleep-wake rhythms, the sleep homeostat, and through direct alerting effects. Melanopsin, the circadian photopigment discovered within intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), detects environmental irradiance levels and is needed to process non-visual light information. Although a growing animal literature demonstrates the importance of melanopsin for sleep-wake timing and behavioral responses to light, little is known about its role in human sleep regulation. Preliminary evidence in healthy adults suggests that the P10L variant in the melanopsin gene (OPN4) interacts with day length to predict variations in self-reported sleep time (Roecklein et al. 2012). The present study aimed to replicate these findings in a larger sample while also using actigraphy to behaviorally quantify sleep characteristics. We hypothesized that variation in OPN4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; P10L and I394T) would be associated with differences in sleep timing and sleep duration as a function of day length. Participants were healthy, midlife community volunteers (N= 377; mean age 42.43 ± 7.37 years old, 50.4% Female; 100% Non-Hispanic Caucasian). Participants wore actigraphy monitors over a course of 7 nights. Day length on the first date of actigraphy assessment was determined by the U.S. Naval Observatory (2010). Linear regression analyses revealed that P10L and I394T were both not significantly associated with the timing of sleep onset, wake onset or sleep duration. There was no main effect of day length or an interaction effect between day length and either polymorphism. Our findings suggest there may be no association between these genetic variants and behavioral sleep timing in a largely healthy population. Given insufficient power in the present study, however, and the different sleep assessment used in comparison to previous reports, it remains to be determined if a functional impact of these polymorphisms exists.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wong, Patriciapaw43@pitt.eduPAW43
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoecklein, Kathryn Akroeck@pitt.eduKROECK
Committee MemberManuck, Stephen Bmanuck@pitt.eduMANUCK
Committee MemberHall, Marticahallmh@upmc.eduMHH1
Committee MemberKamarck, Thomastkam@pitt.eduTKAM
Date: 26 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 October 2013
Approval Date: 26 May 2014
Submission Date: 11 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 58
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Melanopsin, Sleep, Circadian, Non-Visual Light Pathway
Date Deposited: 26 May 2014 22:04
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:41


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