Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

OHSU primate center research suggests multiple ’body clocks’

24.05.2006
Research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University suggests that contrary to popular belief, the body has more than one "body clock." The previously known master body clock resides in a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).
Researchers at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have now revealed the existence of a secondary clock-like mechanism associated with the adrenal gland. The research also suggests a high likelihood that additional clocks exist in the body. The study results are printed in the current edition of the journal Molecular Endocrinology.

"We’re all familiar with the idea that the body has a master clock that controls sleep-wake cycles. In fact, most of us have witnessed the impacts of this clock in the form of jet lag where it takes the body a number of days to adjust to a new time schedule following a long flight," explained Henryk Urbanski, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a senior scientist at ONPRC. "Our latest research suggests that a separate but likely related clock resides in the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is involved in several important body functions, such as body temperature regulation, metabolism, mood, stress response and reproduction. The research also suggests that other peripheral clocks reside throughout the body and that these clocks are perhaps interconnected."

To conduct the research, scientists studied adrenal gland function in rhesus macaque monkeys which is very similar to human adrenal gland function. Specifically, researchers measured gene expression in the adrenal gland of monkeys during a 24-hour period (six times a day, four-hour intervals). In analyzing this information, researchers identified 322 genes in the adrenal gland with functions that varied rhythmically over a 24-hour period, meaning that each gene’s function peaked and diminished at the same time each day. Interestingly, the scientists also noted that a subgroup of these 322 genes also exist in the SCN – the home of the body’s master body clock. This suggests that the adrenal gland has its own timing mechanism that is related to, but separate from, the SCN body clock.

"Of course, different genes peaked in function at different times of the day," explained Dario Lemos, an OHSU graduate student in the Urbanski lab and first author of the study. "For instance, genes controlling catecholamine secretion were more active in the day with function greatly decreasing at night. Catecholamines are involved in many important body functions, such as stress and mood."

This research provides important new information regarding the complex, rhythmic, 24-hour functions of the body. The research may also impact current therapies for a variety of diseases. For instance, data gathered in this study and future studies may suggest that certain therapies be delivered at certain times to synchronize with normal body functions controlled by body clocks.

"One example is testosterone replacement, a common treatment for certain disorders in males such as sexual dysfunction and depression," explained Urbanski. "Patients receiving testosterone late in the day often complain of sleep loss. This is likely due to the fact that in healthy people, testosterone levels are lower in the afternoon and evening. As more data is gathered about body clock functions in our lab and others, we will likely learn of a specific window of time during the day where testosterone therapy is effective, but less disruptive for patients."

Jim Newman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>