ResearchPad - chronobiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Road lighting density and brightness linked with increased cycling rates after-dark]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14738 Cycling has a range of benefits as is recognised by national and international policies aiming to increase cycling rates. Darkness acts as a barrier to people cycling, with fewer people cycling after-dark when seasonal and time-of-day factors are accounted for. This paper explores whether road lighting can reduce the negative impact of darkness on cycling rates. Changes in cycling rates between daylight and after-dark were quantified for 48 locations in Birmingham, United Kingdom, by calculating an odds ratio. These odds ratios were compared against two measures of road lighting at each location: 1) Density of road lighting lanterns; 2) Relative brightness as estimated from night-time aerial images. Locations with no road lighting showed a significantly greater reduction in cycling after-dark compared with locations that had some lighting. A nonlinear relationship was found between relative brightness at a location at night and the reduction in cyclists after-dark. Small initial increases in brightness resulted in large reductions in the difference between cyclist numbers in daylight and after-dark, but this effect reached a plateau as brightness increased. These results suggest only a minimal amount of lighting can promote cycling after-dark, making it an attractive mode of transport year-round.

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<![CDATA[Place-provider-matrix of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A nationwide observational cross-sectional analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14710 This study aims to test the association between the place-provider-matrix (PPM) of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).MethodsAdult patients with OHCA with a cardiac etiology from 2012 to 2017 in Korea were analyzed, excluding patients who had unknown information on place, type of bystander, or outcome. The PPM was categorized into six groups by two types of places (public versus home) and three types of providers (trained responder (TR), family bystander, and layperson bystander). Outcomes were survival to discharge and good cerebral performance category (CPC) of 1 or 2. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to test the association between PPM group and outcomes with adjustment for potential confounders to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) (reference = Public-TR).ResultsA total of 73,057 patients were analyzed and were categorized into Public-TR (0.6%), Home-TR (0.3%), Public-Family (1.8%), Home-Family (79.8%), Public-Layperson (9.9%), and Home-Layperson (7.6%) groups. Compared with the Public-TR group, the AORs (95% CIs) for survival to discharge were 0.61 (0.35–1.05) in the Home-TR group, 0.85 (0.62–1.17) in the Public-Family group, 0.38 (0.29–0.50) in the Home-Family group, 1.12 (0.85–1.49) in the Public-Layperson group, and 0.42 (0.31–0.57) in the Home-Layperson group. The AORs (95% CIs) for good CPC were 0.58 (0.27–1.25) in the Home-TR group, 0.88 (0.61–1.27) in the Public-Family group, 0.38 (0.28–0.52) in the Home-Family group, 1.20 (0.87–1.65) in the Public-Layperson group, and 0.42 (0.30–0.59) in the Home-Layperson group.ConclusionThe OHCA outcomes of the Home-Family and Home-Layperson groups were worse than those of the Public-TR group. This finding suggests that OHCA occurring in private places with family or layperson bystanders requires a new strategy, such as dispatching trained responders to the scene to improve CPR outcomes. ]]> <![CDATA[Quantitative live imaging of Venus::BMAL1 in a mouse model reveals complex dynamics of the master circadian clock regulator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13838 Cell-autonomous circadian clocks are transcriptional/translational feedback loops that co-ordinate almost all mammalian physiology and behaviour. Although their genetic basis is well understood, we are largely ignorant of the natural behaviour of clock proteins and how they work within these loops. This is particularly true for the essential transcriptional activator BMAL1. To address this, we created and validated a mouse carrying a fully functional knock-in allele that encodes a fluorescent fusion of BMAL1 (Venus::BMAL1). Quantitative live imaging in tissue explants and cells, including the central clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), revealed the circadian expression, nuclear-cytoplasmic mobility, fast kinetics and surprisingly low molecular abundance of endogenous BMAL1, providing significant quantitative insights into the intracellular mechanisms of circadian timing at single-cell resolution.

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<![CDATA[Exposure to dim light at night prior to conception attenuates offspring innate immune responses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N231fece1-eb24-47b2-a00f-cbdce7a093c6

Functional circadian timekeeping is necessary for homeostatic control of the immune system and appropriate immune responsiveness. Disruption of natural light-dark cycles, through light at night (LAN), impairs innate and adaptive immune responses in nocturnal rodents. These altered immune responses are associated with disrupted endogenous gene transcriptional and endocrine cycles. However, few studies have addressed the multigenerational consequences of systemic circadian rhythm disruption. We hypothesized that parental exposure to dim LAN (dLAN) would alter innate immune and sickness responses to an endotoxin challenge in adult offspring gestated and reared in dark nights. Adult male and female Siberian hamsters were exposed to either dark nights (DARK) or dLAN (~5 lux) for 8 weeks, then paired, mated, and thereafter housed under dark nights. Maternal exposure to dLAN prior to conception impaired febrile responses and increased splenic il-1 production in response to LPS in male offspring. Paternal pre-conception dLAN dampened offspring tnf-α expression in the hypothalamus, reduced serum bactericidal capacity, and dark phase locomotor activity. These changes occurred despite offspring being conceived, gestated, and reared under standard dark night conditions. Overall, these data suggest that dLAN has intergenerational effects on innate immunity and sickness responses.

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<![CDATA[Podocyte RNA sequencing reveals Wnt- and ECM-associated genes as central in FSGS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nff231b2e-f2d8-47eb-acf2-c510faf35a1a

Loss of podocyte differentiation can cause nephrotic-range proteinuria and Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). As specific therapy is still lacking, FSGS frequently progresses to end-stage renal disease. The exact molecular mechanisms of FSGS and gene expression changes in podocytes are complex and widely unknown as marker changes have mostly been assessed on the glomerular level. To gain a better insight, we isolated podocytes of miR-193a overexpressing mice, which suffer from FSGS due to suppression of the podocyte master regulator Wt1. We characterised the podocytic gene expression changes by RNAseq and identified many novel candidate genes not linked to FSGS so far. This included strong upregulation of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA6 and a massive dysregulation of circadian genes including the loss of the transcriptional activator Arntl. By comparison with podocyte-specific changes in other FSGS models we found a shared dysregulation of genes associated with the Wnt signaling cascade, while classical podocyte-specific genes appeared widely unaltered. An overlap with gene expression screens from human FSGS patients revealed a strong enrichment in genes associated with extra-cellular matrix (ECM) and metabolism. Our data suggest that FSGS progression might frequently depend on pathways that are often overlooked when considering podocyte homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[A simplistic approach of algal biofuels production from wastewater using a Hybrid Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Photobioreactor (HABR-PBR) System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nef4e691d-a854-4652-b105-625011806151

The current technologies of algal biofuels production and wastewater treatment (e.g., aerobic) process are still in question, due to the significant amount of fresh water and nutrients requirements for microalgae cultivation, and negative energy balance in both processes, especially when considered in the context of developing counties around the world. In this research, a simplistic sustainable approach of algal biofuels production from wastewater was proposed using a Hybrid Anaerobic Baffled Reactor (HABR) and Photobioreactor (PBR) system. The study suggests that the HABR was capable of removing most of the organic and solid (>90% COD and TSS removal) from wastewater, and produced a healthy feedstock (high N: P = 3:1) for microalgae cultivation in PBRs for biofuels production. A co-culture of Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorella sorokiniana, and Scenedesmus simris002 showed high lipid content up to 44.1%; and the dominant FAMEs composition (C16-C18) of 87.9% in produced biofuels. Perhaps, this proposed low-cost technological approach (e.g., HABR-PBR system) would connect the currently broken link of sustainable bioenergy generation and wastewater treatment pathway for developing countries.

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<![CDATA[O-GlcNAcylation of PERIOD regulates its interaction with CLOCK and timing of circadian transcriptional repression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca281d5eed0c48441e509

Circadian clocks coordinate time-of-day-specific metabolic and physiological processes to maximize organismal performance and fitness. In addition to light and temperature, which are regarded as strong zeitgebers for circadian clock entrainment, metabolic input has now emerged as an important signal for clock entrainment and modulation. Circadian clock proteins have been identified to be substrates of O-GlcNAcylation, a nutrient sensitive post-translational modification (PTM), and the interplay between clock protein O-GlcNAcylation and other PTMs is now recognized as an important mechanism by which metabolic input regulates circadian physiology. To better understand the role of O-GlcNAcylation in modulating clock protein function within the molecular oscillator, we used mass spectrometry proteomics to identify O-GlcNAcylation sites of PERIOD (PER), a repressor of the circadian transcriptome and a critical biochemical timer of the Drosophila clock. In vivo functional characterization of PER O-GlcNAcylation sites indicates that O-GlcNAcylation at PER(S942) reduces interactions between PER and CLOCK (CLK), the key transcriptional activator of clock-controlled genes. Since we observe a correlation between clock-controlled daytime feeding activity and higher level of PER O-GlcNAcylation, we propose that PER(S942) O-GlcNAcylation during the day functions to prevent premature initiation of circadian repression phase. This is consistent with the period-shortening behavioral phenotype of per(S942A) flies. Taken together, our results support that clock-controlled feeding activity provides metabolic signals to reinforce light entrainment to regulate circadian physiology at the post-translational level. The interplay between O-GlcNAcylation and other PTMs to regulate circadian physiology is expected to be complex and extensive, and reach far beyond the molecular oscillator.

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<![CDATA[Dynamical differential expression (DyDE) reveals the period control mechanisms of the Arabidopsis circadian oscillator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca30ed5eed0c48441f086

The circadian oscillator, an internal time-keeping device found in most organisms, enables timely regulation of daily biological activities by maintaining synchrony with the external environment. The mechanistic basis underlying the adjustment of circadian rhythms to changing external conditions, however, has yet to be clearly elucidated. We explored the mechanism of action of nicotinamide in Arabidopsis thaliana, a metabolite that lengthens the period of circadian rhythms, to understand the regulation of circadian period. To identify the key mechanisms involved in the circadian response to nicotinamide, we developed a systematic and practical modeling framework based on the identification and comparison of gene regulatory dynamics. Our mathematical predictions, confirmed by experimentation, identified key transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of circadian period and uncovered the role of blue light in the response of the circadian oscillator to nicotinamide. We suggest that our methodology could be adapted to predict mechanisms of drug action in complex biological systems.

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<![CDATA[Alternative splicing of ZmCCA1 mediates drought response in tropical maize]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5269d5eed0c4842bc7b1

The circadian clock regulates numerous biological processes in plants, especially development and stress responses. CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1) is one of the core components of the day–night rhythm response and is reportedly associated with ambient temperature in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, it remains unknown if alternative splicing of ZmCCA1 is modulated by external stress in maize, such as drought stress and photoperiod. Here, we identified three ZmCCA1 splice variants in the tropical maize line CML288, which are predicted to encode three different protein isoforms, i.e., ZmCCA1.1, ZmCCA1.2, and ZmCCA1.3, which all retain the MYB domain. In maize, the expression levels of ZmCCA1 splice variants were influenced by photoperiod, tissue type, and drought stress. In transgenic A. thaliana, ZmCCA1.1 may be more effective than ZmCCA1.3 in increasing drought tolerance while ZmCCA1.2 may have only a small effect on tolerance to drought stress. Additionally, although CCA1 genes have been found in many plant species, alternative CCA1 splicing events are known to occur in species-specific ways. Our study provides new sight to explore the function of ZmCCA1 splice variants’ response to abiotic stress, and clarify the linkage between circadian clock and environmental stress in maize.

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<![CDATA[Initiation of feeding by four sympatric Neotropical primates (Ateles belzebuth, Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii, Plecturocebus (Callicebus) discolor, and Pithecia aequatorialis) in Amazonian Ecuador: Relationships to photic and ecological factors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52187ed5eed0c484798996

We examined photic and ecological factors related to initiation of feeding by four sympatric primates in the rain forest of Amazonian Ecuador. With rare exceptions, morning activities of all taxa began only after the onset of nautical twilight, which occurred 47–48 min before sunrise. The larger spider and woolly monkeys, Ateles belzebuth and Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii, left their sleeping trees before sunrise about half the time, while the smaller sakis and titi monkeys, Pithecia aequatorialis and Plecturocebus (formerly Callicebus) discolor, did not emerge until sunrise or later. None of the four taxa routinely began feeding before sunrise. Pithecia began feeding a median 2.17 h after sunrise, at least 0.8 h later than the median feeding times of the other three taxa. The early movement of Ateles and Lagothrix, and late initiation of feeding by Pithecia are consistent with temporal niche partitioning. Among most New World primate species, all males and many females, have dichromatic color vision, with only two cone photopigments, while some females are trichromats with three cone photopigments. Current evidence indicates that the dichromats have a foraging advantage in dim light, which could facilitate utilization of twilight periods and contribute to temporal niche partitioning. However, in our study, dichromatic males did not differentially exploit the dim light of twilight, and times of first feeding bouts of female Ateles and Lagothrix were similar to those of males. First feeding bouts followed a seasonal pattern, occurring latest in May-August, when ripe fruit abundance and ambient temperature were both relatively low. The most frugivorous taxon, Ateles, exhibited the greatest seasonality, initiating feeding 1.4 h later in May-August than in January-April. This pattern may imply a strategy of conserving energy when ripe fruit is scarcer, but starting earlier to compete successfully when fruit is more abundant. Lower temperatures were associated with later feeding of Ateles (by 26 min / °C) and perhaps Pithecia, but not Lagothrix or Plecturocebus. The potential for modification of temporal activity patterns and temporal niche partitioning by relatively small changes in temperature should be considered when predicting the effects of climate change.

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<![CDATA[Coherency of circadian rhythms in the SCN is governed by the interplay of two coupling factors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c18139dd5eed0c4847755e7

Circadian clocks are autonomous oscillators driving daily rhythms in physiology and behavior. In mammals, a network of coupled neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is entrained to environmental light-dark cycles and orchestrates the timing of peripheral organs. In each neuron, transcriptional feedbacks generate noisy oscillations. Coupling mediated by neuropeptides such as VIP and AVP lends precision and robustness to circadian rhythms. The detailed coupling mechanisms between SCN neurons are debated. We analyze organotypic SCN slices from neonatal and adult mice in wild-type and multiple knockout conditions. Different degrees of rhythmicity are quantified by pixel-level analysis of bioluminescence data. We use empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) to characterize spatio-temporal patterns. Simulations of coupled stochastic single cell oscillators can reproduce the diversity of observed patterns. Our combination of data analysis and modeling provides deeper insight into the enormous complexity of the data: (1) Neonatal slices are typically stronger oscillators than adult slices pointing to developmental changes of coupling. (2) Wild-type slices are completely synchronized and exhibit specific spatio-temporal patterns of phases. (3) Some slices of Cry double knockouts obey impaired synchrony that can lead to co–existing rhythms (“splitting”). (4) The loss of VIP-coupling leads to desynchronized rhythms with few residual local clusters. Additional information was extracted from co–culturing slices with rhythmic neonatal wild-type SCNs. These co–culturing experiments were simulated using external forcing terms representing VIP and AVP signaling. The rescue of rhythmicity via co–culturing lead to surprising results, since a cocktail of AVP-antagonists improved synchrony. Our modeling suggests that these counter-intuitive observations are pointing to an antagonistic action of VIP and AVP coupling. Our systematic theoretical and experimental study shows that dual coupling mechanisms can explain the astonishing complexity of spatio-temporal patterns in SCN slices.

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<![CDATA[Insulin signaling and reduced glucocorticoid receptor activity attenuate postprandial gene expression in liver]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813afd5eed0c484775904

Hepatic circadian gene transcription is tightly coupled to feeding behavior, which has a profound impact on metabolic disorders associated with diet-induced obesity. Here, we describe a genomics approach to uncover mechanisms controlling hepatic postprandial gene expression. Combined transcriptomic and cistromic analysis identified hundreds of circadian-regulated genes and enhancers controlled by feeding. Postprandial suppression of enhancer activity was associated with reduced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and Forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) occupancy of chromatin correlating with reduced serum corticosterone levels and increased serum insulin levels. Despite substantial co-occupancy of feeding-regulated enhancers by GR and FOXO1, selective disruption of corticosteroid and/or insulin signaling resulted in dysregulation of specific postprandial regulated gene programs. In combination, these signaling pathways operate a major part of the genes suppressed by feeding. Importantly, the feeding response was disrupted in diet-induced obese animals, which was associated with dysregulation of several corticosteroid- and insulin-regulated genes, providing mechanistic insights to dysregulated circadian gene transcription associated with obesity.

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<![CDATA[JMJD5 links CRY1 function and proteasomal degradation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae426d5eed0c484589014

The circadian oscillator is a molecular feedback circuit whose orchestration involves posttranslational control of the activity and protein levels of its components. Although controlled proteolysis of circadian proteins is critical for oscillator function, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms remains incomplete. Here, we report that JmjC domain–containing protein 5 (JMJD5) interacts with CRYPTOCHROME 1 (CRY1) in an F-box/leucine-rich repeat protein 3 (FBXL3)-dependent manner and facilitates targeting of CRY1 to the proteasome. Genetic deletion of JMJD5 results in greater CRY1 stability, reduced CRY1 association with the proteasome, and disruption of circadian gene expression. We also report that in the absence of JMJD5, AMP-regulated protein kinase (AMPK)-induced CRY1 degradation is impaired, establishing JMJD5 as a key player in this mechanism. JMJD5 cooperates with CRY1 to repress circadian locomotor output cycles protein kaput (CLOCK)–brain and muscle ARNT-like protein 1 (BMAL1), thus linking CRY1 destabilization to repressive function. Finally, we find that ablation of JMJD5 impacts FBXL3- and CRY1-related functions beyond the oscillator.

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<![CDATA[Morning boost on individuals’ psychophysiological wellbeing indicators with supportive, dynamic lighting in windowless open-plan workplace in Malaysia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c305a1bd5eed0c484ba8af9

Workplace architectural lighting conditions that are biologically dim during the day are causing healthy individuals to experience light-induced health and performance-related problems. Dynamic lighting was reported beneficial in supporting individuals’ psychological behavior and physiological responses during work period in Europe. It has yet to be investigated in workplaces with minimal/no natural daylight contribution in tropical Malaysia. Hence, an exploratory experimental study was initiated in an experimental windowless open-plan workplace in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang. The aim was to identify dynamic lighting configurations that were more supportive of a morning boosting effect than the control constant lighting, to support dayshift individuals’ psychophysiological wellbeing indicators during the peak morning work period. The immediate impact of a 2-hour morning exposure to overhead white LED (6500 K) with different horizontal illuminance levels and oscillations (lighting patterns) were investigated on physiological indicator limited to urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin, and psychological indicators for alertness, mood, visual comfort, cognitive and visual task performance. Not all of the investigated dynamic lighting configurations were supportive of a morning boost. Only configurations 500increased to750 and 500increased to1000 lx therapeutically supported most of the indicators. Both these configurations suppressed urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin, and improved alertness, cognitive performance, positive affect, and visual comfort better than ‘visit 1: 500constant500’ lx (control). The increasing oscillation was observed more beneficial for the morning boost in tropical Malaysia, which is in reverse to that specified in the human rhythmic dynamic lighting protocol developed by researchers from the Netherlands for application during winter. The findings from this study present the feasibility of dynamic architectural lighting acting as an environmental therapeutic solution in supporting the individuals’ psychophysiological wellbeing indicators in windowless open-plan workplace in tropical Malaysia. Further investigations on the two prospective configurations are recommended to determine the better supportive one for the morning boosting effect in Malaysia.

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<![CDATA[Interacting circadian and homeostatic processes with opportunity cost: A mathematical model of sleep with application to two mammalian species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab874d5eed0c4840281b7

This paper introduces a new model of sleep for mammals. It extends the classic ‘two-process’ model of sleep to account for differences in external circumstances. We apply this model to previously-collected data on elephants and sloths, comparing sleep patterns in the wild with sleep patterns in captivity. We find that the model does very well in explaining sleeping patterns for both types of animals, in both the captive state and in the wild state.

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<![CDATA[Modulation of miR-210 alters phasing of circadian locomotor activity and impairs projections of PDF clock neurons in Drosophila melanogaster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b600749463d7e39c55261fd

Single microRNAs are usually associated with hundreds of putative target genes that can influence multiple phenotypic traits in Drosophila, ranging from development to behaviour. We investigated the function of Drosophila miR-210 in circadian behaviour by misexpressing it within circadian clock cells. Manipulation of miR-210 expression levels in the PDF (pigment dispersing factor) positive neurons affected the phase of locomotor activity, under both light-dark conditions and constant darkness. PER cyclical expression was not affected in clock neurons, however, when miR-210 was up-regulated, a dramatic alteration in the morphology of PDF ventral lateral neuron (LNv) arborisations was observed. The effect of miR-210 in shaping neuronal projections was confirmed in vitro, using a Drosophila neuronal cell line. A transcriptomic analysis revealed that miR-210 overexpression affects the expression of several genes belonging to pathways related to circadian processes, neuronal development, GTPases signal transduction and photoreception. Collectively, these data reveal the role of miR-210 in modulating circadian outputs in flies and guiding/remodelling PDF positive LNv arborisations and indicate that miR-210 may have pleiotropic effects on the clock, light perception and neuronal development.

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<![CDATA[A component of the TOR (Target Of Rapamycin) nutrient-sensing pathway plays a role in circadian rhythmicity in Neurospora crassa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49ab72463d7e11e6cdb2eb

The TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway is a highly-conserved signaling pathway in eukaryotes that regulates cellular growth and stress responses. The cellular response to amino acids or carbon sources such as glucose requires anchoring of the TOR kinase complex to the lysosomal/vacuolar membrane by the Ragulator (mammals) or EGO (yeast) protein complex. Here we report a connection between the TOR pathway and circadian (daily) rhythmicity. The molecular mechanism of circadian rhythmicity in all eukaryotes has long been thought to be transcription/translation feedback loops (TTFLs). In the model eukaryote Neurospora crassa, a TTFL including FRQ (frequency) and WCC (white collar complex) has been intensively studied. However, it is also well-known that rhythmicity can be seen in the absence of TTFL functioning. We previously isolated uv90 as a mutation that compromises FRQ-less rhythms and also damps the circadian oscillator when FRQ is present. We have now mapped the uv90 gene and identified it as NCU05950, homologous to the TOR pathway proteins EGO1 (yeast) and LAMTOR1 (mammals), and we have named the N. crassa protein VTA (vacuolar TOR-associated protein). The protein is anchored to the outer vacuolar membrane and deletion of putative acylation sites destroys this localization as well as the protein’s function in rhythmicity. A deletion of VTA is compromised in its growth responses to amino acids and glucose. We conclude that a key protein in the complex that anchors TOR to the vacuole plays a role in maintaining circadian (daily) rhythmicity. Our results establish a connection between the TOR pathway and circadian rhythms and point towards a network integrating metabolism and the circadian system.

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<![CDATA[Cardiac Atrial Circadian Rhythms in PERIOD2::LUCIFERASE and per1:luc Mice: Amplitude and Phase Responses to Glucocorticoid Signaling and Medium Treatment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da89ab0ee8fa60b9d4a3

Circadian rhythms in cardiac function are apparent in e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, and acute adverse cardiac events. A circadian clock in heart tissue has been identified, but entrainment pathways of this clock are still unclear. We cultured tissues of mice carrying bioluminescence reporters of the core clock genes, period 1 or 2 (per1luc or PER2LUC) and compared in vitro responses of atrium to treatment with medium and a synthetic glucocorticoid (dexamethasone [DEX]) to that of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and liver. We observed that PER2LUC, but not per1luc is rhythmic in atrial tissue, while both per1luc and PER2LUC exhibit rhythmicity in other cultured tissues. In contrast to the SCN and liver, both per1luc and PER2LUC bioluminescence amplitudes were increased in response to DEX treatment, and the PER2LUC amplitude response was dependent on the time of treatment. Large phase-shift responses to both medium and DEX treatments were observed in the atrium, and phase responses to medium treatment were not attributed to serum content but the treatment procedure itself. The phase-response curves of atrium to both DEX and medium treatments were found to be different to the liver. Moreover, the time of day of the culturing procedure itself influenced the phase of the circadian clock in each of the cultured tissues, but the magnitude of this response was uniquely large in atrial tissue. The current data describe novel entrainment signals for the atrial circadian clock and specifically highlight entrainment by mechanical treatment, an intriguing observation considering the mechanical nature of cardiac tissue.

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<![CDATA[Instrument design and protocol for the study of light controlled processes in aquatic organisms, and its application to examine the effect of infrared light on zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca5b

The acquisition of reliable data strongly depends on experimental design. When studying the effects of light on processes such as behaviour and physiology it is crucial to maintain all environmental conditions constant apart from the one under study. Furthermore, the precise values of the environmental factors applied during the experiment should be known. Although seemingly obvious, these conditions are often not met when the effects of light are being studied. Here, we document and discuss the wavelengths and light intensities of natural and artificial light sources. We present standardised experimental protocols together with building plans of a custom made instrument designed to accurately control light and temperature for experiments using fresh water or marine species. Infrared light is commonly used for recording behaviour and in electrophysiological experiments although the properties of fish photoreceptors potentially allow detection into the far red. As an example of our experimental procedure we have applied our protocol and instrument to specifically test the impact of infrared light (840 nm) on the zebrafish circadian clock, which controls many aspects of behaviour, physiology and metabolism. We demonstrate that infrared light does not influence the zebrafish circadian clock. Our results help to provide a solid framework for the future study of light dependent processes in aquatic organisms.

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<![CDATA[Intrinsic Regulation of Spatiotemporal Organization within the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b860b7

The mammalian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) contains a population of neural oscillators capable of sustaining cell-autonomous rhythms in gene expression and electrical firing. A critical question for understanding pacemaker function is how SCN oscillators are organized into a coherent tissue capable of coordinating circadian rhythms in behavior and physiology. Here we undertake a comprehensive analysis of oscillatory function across the SCN of the adult PER2::LUC mouse by developing a novel approach involving multi-position bioluminescence imaging and unbiased computational analyses. We demonstrate that there is phase heterogeneity across all three dimensions of the SCN that is intrinsically regulated and extrinsically modulated by light in a region-specific manner. By investigating the mechanistic bases of SCN phase heterogeneity, we show for the first time that phase differences are not systematically related to regional differences in period, waveform, amplitude, or brightness. Furthermore, phase differences are not related to regional differences in the expression of arginine vasopressin and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, two key neuropeptides characterizing functionally distinct subdivisions of the SCN. The consistency of SCN spatiotemporal organization across individuals and across planes of section suggests that the precise phasing of oscillators is a robust feature of the pacemaker important for its function.

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