Assessment of Epigenetic Driven Circadian Rhythm Defects in Neurons from Individuals with PWS (Year 2)

Funding Summary

Dr. Reiter’s lab looks at stem cell lines from the teeth of PWS subjects to look at the sleep/wake cycle, called the circadian rhythm. People with PWS have a hard time with regulating this cycle. This project will use these stem cell lines to look at the PWS circadian rhythm patterns, as well as changes in DNA that are known to happen at different times during the day and night.

Dr. Theresa Strong, Director of Research Programs, shares details on this project in this short video clip. 


Watch the full webinar describing all 9 research projects funded in this grant cycle here


Lay Abstract

In this study, we will use our unique stem cell lines from the teeth of PWS subjects (dental pulp stem cells) to investigate a phenomenon called circadian rhythm. Normal circadian rhythm occurs even at the single cell level, to control the normal sleep/wake cycle in humans. Individuals with PWS have serious sleep problems like daytime sleepiness and disrupted REM sleep that can seriously impact the lives of families with PWS members. We will use our stem cell lines to look for the normal and PWS circadian rhythm patterns in these cells and also to look at changes in DNA that are known to occur at different times during the day/night cycle. If we succeed, we will have a PWS derived cell culture system that will be useful for doing drug screening. In the future, we may identify drugs that correct the circadian rhythm defects in PWS which lead to sleep problems.

Funded Year:


Awarded to:

Larry Reiter, PhD




University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center


Larry Reiter, PhD

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