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The cockroach, Leucophaea maderae, can be trained in an associative olfactory memory task by either classical or operant conditioning. When trained by classical conditioning, memory formation is regulated by a circadian clock, but once the memory is formed, it can be recalled at any circadian time. In contrast, when trained via operant conditioning, animals can learn the task at any circadian phase, but the ability to recall the long-term memory is tied to the phase of training. The optic lobes of the cockroach contain a circadian clock that drives circadian rhythms of locomotor activity, mating behavior, sensitivity of the compound eye to light, and the sensitivity of olfactory receptors in the antennae. To evaluate the role of the optic lobes in regulating learning and memory processes, the authors examined the effects of surgical ablation of the optic lobes on memory formation in classical conditioning and memory recall following operant conditioning. The effect of optic lobe ablation was to "rescue" the deficit in memory acquisition at a time the animals normally cannot learn and "rescue" the animal's ability to recall a memory formed by operant conditioning at a phase where memory was not normally expressed. The results suggested that the optic lobe pacemaker regulates these processes through inhibition at "inappropriate" times of day. As a pharmacological test of this hypothesis, the authors showed that injections of fipronil, an antagonist of GABA and glutamate-activated chloride channels, had the same effects as optic lobe ablation on memory formation and recall. The data suggest that the optic lobes contain the circadian clock(s) that regulate learning and memory processes via inhibition of neural processes in the brain.
© 2015 The Author(s).
Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), a major modulator of the fibrinolytic system, is an important factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) susceptibility and severity. PAI-1 is highly heritable, but the few genes associated with it explain only a small portion of its variation. Studies of PAI-1 typically employ linear regression to estimate the effects of genetic variants on PAI-1 levels, but PAI-1 is not normally distributed, even after transformation. Therefore, alternative statistical methods may provide greater power to identify important genetic variants. Additionally, most genetic studies of PAI-1 have been performed on populations of European descent, limiting the generalizability of their results. We analyzed >30,000 variants for association with PAI-1 in a Ghanaian population, using median regression, a non-parametric alternative to linear regression. Three variants associated with median PAI-1, the most significant of which was in the gene arylsulfatase B (ARSB) (p = 1.09 x 10(-7)). We also analyzed the upper quartile of PAI-1, the most clinically relevant part of the distribution, and found 19 SNPs significantly associated in this quartile. Of note an association was found in period circadian clock 3 (PER3). Our results reveal novel associations with median and elevated PAI-1 in an understudied population. The lack of overlap between the two analyses indicates that the genetic effects on PAI-1 are not uniform across its distribution. They also provide evidence of the generalizability of the circadian pathway's effect on PAI-1, as a recent meta-analysis performed in Caucasian populations identified another circadian clock gene (ARNTL).
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in children and adults. While ADHD patients often display circadian abnormalities, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here we found that the zebrafish mutant for the circadian gene period1b (per1b) displays hyperactive, impulsive-like, and attention deficit-like behaviors and low levels of dopamine, reminiscent of human ADHD patients. We found that the circadian clock directly regulates dopamine-related genes monoamine oxidase and dopamine β hydroxylase, and acts via genes important for the development or maintenance of dopaminergic neurons to regulate their number and organization in the ventral diencephalic posterior tuberculum. We then found that Per1 knock-out mice also display ADHD-like symptoms and reduced levels of dopamine, thereby showing highly conserved roles of the circadian clock in ADHD. Our studies demonstrate that disruption of a circadian clock gene elicits ADHD-like syndrome. The circadian model for attention deficiency and hyperactive behavior sheds light on ADHD pathogenesis and opens avenues for exploring novel targets for diagnosis and therapy for this common psychiatric disorder.
Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/352572-16$15.00/0.
BACKGROUND - The paternal allele of Ube3a is silenced by imprinting in neurons, and Angelman syndrome (AS) is a disorder arising from a deletion or mutation of the maternal Ube3a allele, which thereby eliminates Ube3a neuronal expression. Sleep disorders such as short sleep duration and increased sleep onset latency are very common in AS.
RESULTS - We found a unique link between neuronal imprinting of Ube3a and circadian rhythms in two mouse models of AS, including enfeebled circadian activity behavior and slowed molecular rhythms in ex vivo brain tissues. As a consequence of compromised circadian behavior, metabolic homeostasis is also disrupted in AS mice. Unsilencing the paternal Ube3a allele restores functional circadian periodicity in neurons deficient in maternal Ube3a but does not affect periodicity in peripheral tissues that are not imprinted for uniparental Ube3a expression. The ubiquitin ligase encoded by Ube3a interacts with the central clock components BMAL1 and BMAL2. Moreover, inactivation of Ube3a expression elevates BMAL1 levels in brain regions that control circadian behavior of AS-model mice, indicating an important role for Ube3a in modulating BMAL1 turnover.
CONCLUSIONS - Ube3a expression constitutes a direct mechanistic connection between symptoms of a human neurological disorder and the central circadian clock mechanism. The lengthened circadian period leads to delayed phase, which could explain the short sleep duration and increased sleep onset latency of AS subjects. Moreover, we report the pharmacological rescue of an AS phenotype, in this case, altered circadian period. These findings reveal potential treatments for sleep disorders in AS patients.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cocaine abuse disrupts reward and homeostatic processes through diverse processes, including those involved in circadian clock regulation. Recently we showed that cocaine administration to mice disrupts nocturnal photic phase resetting of the suprachiasmatic (SCN) circadian clock, whereas administration during the day induces non-photic phase shifts. Importantly, the same effects are seen when cocaine is applied to the SCN in vitro, where it blocks photic-like (glutamate-induced) phase shifts at night and induces phase advances during the day. Furthermore, our previous data suggest that cocaine acts in the SCN by enhancing 5-HT signaling. For example, the in vitro actions of cocaine mimic those of 5-HT and are blocked by the 5-HT antagonist, metergoline, but not the dopamine receptor antagonist, fluphenazine. Although our data are consistent with cocaine acting through enhanced 5-HT signaling, the nonselective actions of cocaine as an antagonist of monoamine transporters raises the question of whether inhibition of the 5-HT transporter (SERT) is key to its circadian effects. Here we investigate this issue using transgenic mice expressing a SERT that exhibits normal 5-HT recognition and transport but significantly reduced cocaine potency (SERT Met172). Circadian patterns of SCN behavioral and neuronal activity did not differ between wild-type (WT) and SERT Met172 mice, nor did they differ in the ability of the 5-HT1A,2,7 receptor agonist, 8-OH-DPAT to reset SCN clock phase, consistent with the normal SERT expression and activity in the transgenic mice. However, (1) cocaine administration does not induce phase advances when administered in vivo or in vitro in SERT Met172 mice; (2) cocaine does not block photic or glutamate-induced phase shifts in SERT Met172 mice; and (3) cocaine does not induce long-term changes in free-running period in SERT Met172 mice. We conclude that SERT antagonism is required for the phase shifting of the SCN circadian clock induced by cocaine.
Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
For a biological oscillator to function as a circadian pacemaker that confers a fitness advantage, its timing functions must be stable in response to environmental and metabolic fluctuations. One such stability enhancer, temperature compensation, has long been a defining characteristic of these timekeepers. However, an accurate biological timekeeper must also resist changes in metabolism, and this review suggests that temperature compensation is actually a subset of a larger phenomenon, namely metabolic compensation, which maintains the frequency of circadian oscillators in response to a host of factors that impinge on metabolism and would otherwise destabilize these clocks. The circadian system of prokaryotic cyanobacteria is an illustrative model because it is composed of transcriptional and nontranscriptional oscillators that are coupled to promote resilience. Moreover, the cyanobacterial circadian program regulates gene activity and metabolic pathways, and it can be manipulated to improve the expression of bioproducts that have practical value.
A post-translational oscillator (PTO) composed of the proteins KaiA, KaiB and KaiC is at the heart of the cyanobacterial circadian clock. KaiC interacts with KaiA and KaiB over the daily cycle, and CII domains undergo rhythmic phosphorylation/dephosphorylation with a 24 h period. Both the N-terminal (CI) and C-terminal (CII) rings of KaiC exhibit ATPase activity. The CI ATPase proceeds in an input-independent fashion, but the CII ATPase is subject to metabolic input signals. The crystal structure of KaiC from Thermosynechococcus elongatus allows insight into the different anatomies of the CI and CII ATPases. Four consecutive arginines in CI (Arg linker) that connect the P-loop, CI subunits and CI and CII at the ring interface are primary candidates for the coordination of the CI and CII activities. The mutation of linker residues alters the period or triggers arhythmic behavior. Comparison between the CI and CII structures also reveals differences in loop regions that are key to KaiA and KaiB binding and activation of CII ATPase and kinase. Common packing features in KaiC crystals shed light on the KaiB-KaiC interaction.
Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is characterized by excessive increases in heart rate (HR) upon standing. Previous studies have shown that standing HR decreases over time in POTS patients given placebo. We hypothesized that this reduction is due to cardiovascular physiological alteration, as opposed to psychological benefit from perceived therapy. To prospectively test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of an open-label 'no treatment' intervention (NoRx) compared with a patient-blinded placebo on standing HR in POTS patients. Twenty-one POTS patients participated in a randomized cross-over trial with oral placebo versus NoRx administered at 0900 h. Seated blood pressure (BP) and HR were measured at baseline and every hour for 4 h. Similarly, BP and HR were measured while patients stood for 10 min at these time points. Standing HR decreased significantly over time with both NoRx (112±13 and 103±16 b.p.m. at baseline and 4 h, respectively) and placebo (112±14 and 102±16 b.p.m. at baseline and 4 h, respectively; Ptime<0.001), but this effect was not different between interventions (Pdrug=0.771). Postural tachycardia syndrome patients have exaggerated orthostatic tachycardia in the morning that decreases over time with either placebo or NoRx interventions, suggesting this phenomenon is due to cardiovascular physiological variation. These data highlight the need for a placebo arm in haemodynamic clinical trials in POTS and may have important implications for the diagnosis of these patients.
© 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
STUDY OBJECTIVES - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, including stroke and acute coronary syndromes. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), the principal inhibitor of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), has a pronounced circadian rhythm and is elevated in both OSA and cardiovascular disease and may be an important link between the two conditions. Endothelial dysfunction is one of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, and may be altered in OSA. Our primary aim was to compare circadian variability of PAI-1 and t-PA in patients with OSA and normal controls by determining the amplitude (peak level) and mesor (rhythm adjusted mean) of PAI-1 and t-PA in serial blood samples over a 24-h period. The secondary aim was to measure markers of endothelial function (brachial and radial artery flow) in patients with OSA compared with normal controls.
SETTING - Cross-sectional cohort study.
PATIENTS OR PARTICIPANTS - Subjects age 18 y or older, with a body mass index of 25-45 kg/m(2), with or without evidence of untreated OSA.
INTERVENTIONS - Plasma samples were collected every 2 h, in OSA patients and matched controls, over a 24-h period. PAI-1 and t-PA antigen and activity were measured. The presence or absence of OSA (apnea-hypopnea index of 5 or greater) was confirmed by overnight polysomnography. Endothelial function was measured via brachial artery flow mediated vasodilatation and computerized arterial pulse waveform analysis.
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS - The rhythm-adjusted mean levels of PAI-1 antigen levels in the OSA group (21.8 ng/mL, 95% confidence level [CI], 18 to 25.7) were significantly higher as compared to the non-OSA group (16 ng/mL, 95% CI, 12.2 to 19.8; P = 0.03). The rhythm-adjusted mean levels of PAI-1 activity levels in the OSA group (23.9 IU/mL, 95% CI, 21.4 to 26.5) were also significantly higher than in the non-OSA group (17.2 IU/ mL, 95% CI, 14.6 to 19.9; P < 0.001).There were strong correlations between amplitude of PAI-1 activity and severity of OSA as measured by AHI (P = 0.02), and minimum oxygen levels during sleep (P = 0.04). Endothelial function parameters did not differ significantly between the two groups.
CONCLUSION - The presence of obstructive sleep apnea adversely affects circadian fibrinolytic balance with higher mean plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity and antigen, and significantly lower mean tissue-type plasminogen activator activity compared with controls. This perturbation may be an important mechanism for increased cardiovascular events in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Intermittent hypoxia and changes in circadian clock gene activity in obstructive sleep apnea may be responsible for these findings and warrant further study. Favorable changes in fibrinolytic balance may underlie the reduction in cardiovascular events observed with the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
BACKGROUND - The cyanobacterial circadian program exerts genome-wide control of gene expression. KaiC undergoes rhythms of phosphorylation that are regulated by interactions with KaiA and KaiB. The phosphorylation status of KaiC is thought to mediate global transcription via output factors SasA, CikA, LabA, RpaA, and RpaB. Overexpression of kaiC has been reported to globally repress gene expression.
RESULTS - Here, we show that the positive circadian component KaiA upregulates "subjective dusk" genes and that its overexpression deactivates rhythmic gene expression without significantly affecting growth rates in constant light. We analyze the global patterns of expression that are regulated by KaiA versus KaiC and find in contrast to the previous report of KaiC repression that there is a "yin-yang" regulation of gene expression whereby kaiA overexpression activates "dusk genes" and represses "dawn genes," whereas kaiC overexpression complementarily activates dawn genes and represses dusk genes. Moreover, continuous induction of kaiA latched KaiABC-regulated gene expression to provide constitutively increased transcript levels of diverse endogenous and heterologous genes that are expressed in the predominant subjective dusk phase. In addition to analyzing KaiA regulation of endogenous gene expression, we apply these insights to the expression of heterologous proteins whose products are of potential value, namely human proinsulin, foreign luciferase, and exogenous hydrogenase.
CONCLUSIONS - Both KaiC and KaiA complementarily contribute to the regulation of circadian gene expression via yin-yang switching. Circadian patterns can be reprogrammed by overexpression of kaiA or kaiC to constitutively enhance gene expression, and this reprogramming can improve 24/7 production of heterologous proteins that are useful as pharmaceuticals or biofuels.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.