Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number in Sleep Duration Discordant Monozygotic Twins.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number is an important component of mitochondrial function and varies with age, disease, and environmental factors. We aimed to determine whether mtDNA copy number varies with habitual differences in sleep duration within pairs of monozygotic twins. 15 sleep duration discordant monozygotic twin pairs were recruited from the University of Washington Twin Registry (30 twins, 80% female; mean age 42.1 years [SD 15.0]). Sleep duration was phenotyped with wrist actigraphy. Each twin pair included a “normal” (7-9 h/24) and “short” (< 7 h/24) sleeping twin. Fasting peripheral blood leukocyte DNA was assessed for mtDNA copy number via the n-fold difference between qPCR measured mtDNA and nuclear DNA creating an mtDNA measure without absolute units. We used generalized estimating equation linear regression models accounting for the correlated data structure to assess within-pair effects of sleep duration on mtDNA copy number. Mean within-pair sleep duration difference per 24 hours was 94.3 minutes (SD 62.6 min). We found reduced sleep duration (β = 0.06; 95% CI 0.004, 0.12; P < 0.05) and sleep efficiency (β = 0.51; 95% CI 0.06, 0.95; P < 0.05) were significantly associated with reduced mtDNA copy number within twin pairs. Thus every 1-minute decrease in actigraphy-defined sleep duration was associated with a decrease in mtDNA copy number of 0.06. Likewise, a 1% decrease in actigraphy-defined sleep efficiency was associated with a decrease in mtDNA copy number of 0.51. Reduced sleep duration and sleep efficiency were associated with reduced mitochondrial DNA copy number in sleep duration-discordant monozygotic twins offering a potential mechanism whereby short sleep impairs health and longevity through mitochondrial stress.
Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number in Sleep Duration Discordant Monozygotic Twins. Sleep. 2015 Oct 1;38(10):1655-8.