The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Daily rhythmic processes are coordinated by circadian clocks, which are present in numerous central and peripheral tissues. In mammals, two circadian clocks, the food-entrainable oscillator (FEO) and methamphetamine-sensitive circadian oscillator (MASCO), are "black box" mysteries because their anatomical loci are unknown and their outputs are not expressed under normal physiological conditions. In the current study, the investigation of the timekeeping mechanisms of the FEO and MASCO in mice with disruption of all three paralogs of the canonical clock gene, Period, revealed unique and convergent findings. We found that both the MASCO and FEO in Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-)/Per3(-/-) mice are circadian oscillators with unusually short (∼21 h) periods. These data demonstrate that the canonical Period genes are involved in period determination in the FEO and MASCO, and computational modeling supports the hypothesis that the FEO and MASCO use the same timekeeping mechanism or are the same circadian oscillator. Finally, these studies identify Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-)/Per3(-/-) mice as a unique tool critical to the search for the elusive anatomical location(s) of the FEO and MASCO.
The serotonin and circadian systems are principal regulatory networks of the brain. Each consists of a unique set of neurons that make widespread neural connections and a defined gene network of transcriptional regulators and signaling genes that subserve serotonergic and circadian function at the genetic level. These master regulatory networks of the brain are extensively intertwined, with reciprocal circuit connections, expression of key genetic elements for serotonin signaling in clock neurons and expression of key clock genes in serotonergic neurons. The reciprocal connections of the serotonin and circadian systems likely have importance for neurobehavioral disorders, as suggested by their convergent contribution to a similar range of mood disorders including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar disorder, and major depression, and as suggested by their overlapping relationship with the developmental disorder, autism spectrum disorder. Here we review the neuroanatomical and genetic basis for serotonin-circadian interactions in the brain, their potential relationship with neurobehavioral disorders, and recent work examining the effects on the circadian system of genetic perturbation of the serotonergic system as well as the molecular and behavioral effects of developmental imprinting of the circadian system with perinatal seasonal light cycles.
Copyright Â© 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is associated with a number of physiological functions involved in the regulation of metabolism; however, the functional role of eNOS is poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that eNOS is critical to muscle cell signaling and fuel usage during exercise in vivo, using 16-wk-old catheterized (carotid artery and jugular vein) C57BL/6J mice with wild-type (WT), partial (+/-), or no expression (-/-) of eNOS. Quantitative reductions in eNOS expression ( approximately 40%) elicited many of the phenotypic effects observed in enos(-/-) mice under fasted, sedentary conditions, with expression of oxidative phosphorylation complexes I to V and ATP levels being decreased, and total NOS activity and Ca(2+)/CaM kinase II Thr(286) phosphorylation being increased in skeletal muscle. Despite these alterations, exercise tolerance was markedly impaired in enos(-/-) mice during an acute 30-min bout of exercise. An eNOS-dependent effect was observed with regard to AMP-activated protein kinase signaling and muscle perfusion. Muscle glucose and long-chain fatty acid uptake, and hepatic and skeletal muscle glycogenolysis during the exercise bout was markedly accelerated in enos(-/-) mice compared with enos(+/-) and WT mice. Correspondingly, enos(-/-) mice exhibited hypoglycemia during exercise. Thus, the ablation of eNOS alters a number of physiological processes that result in impaired exercise capacity in vivo. The finding that a partial reduction in eNOS expression is sufficient to induce many of the changes associated with ablation of eNOS has implications for chronic metabolic diseases, such as obesity and insulin resistance, which are associated with reduced eNOS expression.
The role of social interactions in entrainment has not been extensively studied in the invertebrates. Leucophaea maderae is a gregarious species of cockroach that exhibits extensive social interactions. Social interactions associated with copulation between the sexes have been shown to be regulated by the circadian system. We show here that social interactions between males are also under circadian control. We examined the question of whether or not these rhythmic social contacts could function as zeitgebers capable of regulating circadian phase and period. Animals initially in phase that were housed as groups or pairs of single sex or mixed sex in constant darkness for 2-7 weeks were found to drift out of phase. Their behavior was not significantly different from individual animals maintained in isolation. Further, animals that were initially out of phase by 12 h housed as groups or pairs were not significantly different in phase from animals that were isolated. The results show the circadian clocks of cockroaches are remarkably insensitive to the extensive social interactions that occur between individuals.
The daily biological clock regulates the timing of sleep and physiological processes that are of fundamental importance to human health, performance, and well-being. Environmental parameters of relevance to biological clocks include (1) daily fluctuations in light intensity and temperature, and (2) seasonal changes in photoperiod (day length) and temperature; these parameters vary dramatically as a function of latitude and locale. In wide-ranging species other than humans, natural selection has genetically optimized adaptiveness along latitudinal clines. Is there evidence for selection of clock gene alleles along latitudinal/photoperiod clines in humans? A number of polymorphisms in the human clock genes Per2, Per3, Clock, and AANAT have been reported as alleles that could be subject to selection. In addition, this investigation discovered several novel polymorphisms in the human Arntl and Arntl2 genes that may have functional impact upon the expression of these clock transcriptional factors. The frequency distribution of these clock gene polymorphisms is reported for diverse populations of African Americans, European Americans, Ghanaians, Han Chinese, and Papua New Guineans (including 5 subpopulations within Papua New Guinea). There are significant differences in the frequency distribution of clock gene alleles among these populations. Population genetic analyses indicate that these differences are likely to arise from genetic drift rather than from natural selection.
Neuroglobin (Ngb) is a neuronal hemeprotein similar to myoglobin and hemoglobin and shares their capability for oxygen binding. It has thus been proposed that Ngb acts as an oxygen reservoir or combats reactive oxygen species. In the present study, we investigated the Ngb expression pattern in the rat brain using immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). This revealed the interesting finding that Ngb expression is restricted to a few neurone populations, many of which are involved in the sleep-wake cycle, circadian regulation or food regulation. In the forebrain we found intense Ngb expression in neurones in the piriform cortex, the central and medial amygdala, the medial preoptic area, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, the perifornical nucleus, the lateral hypothalamus. Within the mid- and hindbrain Ngb expressing neurones were found in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, the pedunculo pontine tegmental nucleus, the locus coeruleus, and the lateral parabrachial nucleus. In the medulla oblongata Ngb expressing neurones were found in the nucleus of the solitary tract. The qRT-PCR data showed a diurnal variation of Ngb mRNA in the SCN, having a peak in the day time (light-period) and nadir during night (dark-period).
2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Mating behavior of small populations of virgin males and females of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae were continuously monitored via time-lapse video recording in controlled laboratory conditions. The time of onset of copulation was found to be rhythmic in a light cycle of 12 h light alternated with 12 h of darkness, with the peak of mating behavior occurring near the light to dark transition. This rhythm persisted in constant dim red illumination and constant temperature. In constant conditions, the period of the rhythm was slightly less than 24 h, with a peak of copulation during the late subjective day. These data demonstrated that mating behavior is gated by a circadian clock. When males and females were taken from light cycles that were 12 h out of phase, a bimodal rhythm was observed with one peak in the males' late subjective day and a second peak of equal amplitude in the late subjective day of females. The results indicated that circadian systems in both males and females contribute to the circadian rhythm in copulation. Bilateral section of the optic tracts (OTX) of both males and females abolished the rhythm, but the rhythm persisted when OTX females were paired with intact males or when OTX males were paired with intact females. Furthermore, when OTX males or OTX females were paired with intact animals that were 12 h out of phase, a bimodal rhythm was still observed. These results suggested that the circadian pacemaker in the optic lobes of both male and female cockroaches participates in the control of mating, but that a pacemaker outside the optic lobes is also likely involved. Finally, it was shown that the female's olfactory response (measured by electroantennogram) to components of the male sex pheromone exhibited a circadian rhythm, but the data suggested the peripheral olfactory rhythm is not likely to be involved in the rhythm of mating behavior.
BACKGROUND - Seasonal fluctuation in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease has been attributed to winter virus exposure (e.g., influenza and respiratory syncytial virus [RSV]). Evidence of a direct correlation of invasive pneumococcal disease with laboratory-confirmed virus seasons, however, is limited. Using two prospective surveillance networks, the temporal relation between invasive pneumococcal disease and isolation of circulating winter viruses was explored.
METHODS - Episodes of invasive pneumococcal disease in five Tennessee counties were collected prospectively from January 1995 through June 2002. Virus seasons were defined using prospective laboratory-based surveillance. Correlation between weekly identification of invasive pneumococcal disease and laboratory isolation of RSV and influenza, as well as comparisons of the frequencies of invasive pneumococcal disease episodes during viral and nonviral seasons were determined.
RESULTS - A total of 4147 invasive pneumococcal disease episodes were identified. Weekly frequency of invasive pneumococcal disease correlated directly with the weekly frequency of isolation of RSV (r = 0.56, P <0.001) and influenza (r= 0.40, P <0.001). The average weekly frequency of invasive pneumococcal disease during RSV and influenza seasons was higher than during the nonviral seasons (P <0.001 for each year).
CONCLUSION - Weekly episodes of invasive pneumococcal disease correlated temporally with laboratory-confirmed weekly isolation of RSV and influenza, and the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease was increased when these viruses were circulating in the community.
In cyanobacteria, KaiC is an essential hexameric clock protein that forms the core of a circadian protein complex. KaiC can be phosphorylated, and the ratio of phospho-KaiC to non-phospho-KaiC is correlated with circadian period. Structural analyses of KaiC crystals identify three potential phosphorylation sites within a 10-A radius of the ATP binding regions that are at the T432, S431, and T426 residues in the KaiCII domains. When these residues are mutated by alanine substitution singly or in combination, KaiC phosphorylation is altered, and circadian rhythmicity is abolished. These alanine substitutions do not prevent KaiC from hexamerizing. Intriguingly, the ability of KaiC overexpression to repress its own promoter is also not prevented by alanine substitutions at these sites, implying that the capability of KaiC to repress its promoter is not sufficient to allow the clockwork to oscillate. The KaiC structure and the mutational analysis suggest that S431 and T426 may share a phosphate that can shuttle between these two residues. Because the phosphorylation status of KaiC oscillates over the daily cycle, and KaiC phosphorylation is essential for clock function as shown here, daily modulations of KaiC activity by phosphorylation at T432 and S431/T426 seem to be key components of the circadian clockwork in cyanobacteria.