Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Day in and day out

27.07.2009
Fluctuations in the levels of various molecules in the blood provide a reliable indicator of the body’s internal clock

Without consciously checking your watch, your body knows the time by maintaining its own internal clock that tracks the day–night cycle through so-called circadian rhythms. Accordingly, disruption of these cycles, whether due to transient effects of jet-lag or disorders such as familial advanced sleep-phase syndrome, can profoundly affect an individual’s ability to maintain a normal pattern of sleeping and waking.

Circadian rhythms also affect a number of other physiological activities, including manifestations of disease and the body’s response to therapeutics. “Interestingly, some cancer growth is under circadian clock control,” says Yoichi Minami of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe. “This suggests that if we take drugs with precise timing, we can reduce unwanted effects.”

Inspired by the work of 18th Century botanist Karl Linné, who assembled a literal circadian clock composed of flower species that open and close their petals at specific times of day, Minami and colleagues Takeya Kasukawa, Yuji Kakazu, Tomoyoshi Soga and Hiroki Ueda recently set about constructing an analogous ‘body clock’ for mammals.

To achieve this, they applied sophisticated analytical chemistry techniques to characterize time-of-day-specific fluctuations in the levels of a broad variety of small molecules circulating in the mouse bloodstream1. They performed their analysis with mice that were maintained either in fixed light–dark cycles, or in constant darkness, to distinguish variability resulting from external environmental time cues versus purely internal circadian timetables.

Depending on the analytical method applied, the researchers were able to detect between 150 and 300 compounds that appeared to show circadian regulation under both conditions. Once the oscillations of these various metabolites had been characterized, they were able to apply these patterns to determine the body-time at which a blood sample was collected. Importantly, the accuracy of these measurements was not affected by differences in age, sex or food consumption, and the team was even able to directly observe relative shifts in the circadian clock resulting from simulated jet-lag.

These findings now clear the way for constructing an equivalent internal timetable for people. “One of our main goals is translation of circadian clock research from lab to clinic,” says Kasukawa. “If we can show the validity of our method in human beings … our method will contribute to the diagnosis of disease caused by circadian clock dysfunction [and] speed up development of circadian clock-conditioning drugs.”

Reference

1. Minami, Y., Kasukawa, T., Kakazu, Y., Iigo, M., Sugimoto, M., Ikeda, S., Yasui, A., van der Horst, G.T.J., Soga, T. & Ueda, H.R. Measurement of internal body time by blood metabolomics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 9890–9895 (2009).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Laboratory for Systems Biology

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/752/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>