Temporal profile of circadian clock gene expression in a transplanted suprachiasmatic nucleus and peripheral tissues.
ABSTRACT The mammalian hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the master oscillator that regulates the circadian rhythms of the peripheral oscillators. Previous studies have demonstrated that the transplantation of embryonic SCN tissues into SCN-lesioned arrhythmic mice restores the behavioral circadian rhythms of these animals. In our present study, we examined the clock gene expression profiles in a transplanted SCN and peripheral tissues, and also analysed the circadian rhythm of the locomotor activity in SCN-grafted mice. These experiments were undertaken to elucidate whether the transplanted SCN generates a dynamic circadian oscillation and maintains the phase relationships that can be detected in intact mice. The grafted SCN indeed showed dynamic circadian expression rhythms of clock genes such as mPeriod1 (mPer1) and mPeriod2 (mPer2). Furthermore, the phase differences between the expression rhythms of these genes in the grafted SCN and the locomotor activity rhythms of the transplanted animals were found to be very similar to those in intact animals. Moreover, in the liver, kidney and skeletal muscles of the transplanted animals, the phase angles between the circadian rhythm of the grafted SCN and that of the peripheral tissues were maintained as in intact animals. However, in the SCN-grafted animals, the amplitudes of the mPer1 and mPer2 rhythms were attenuated in the peripheral tissues. Our current findings therefore indicate that a transplanted SCN has the capacity to generate a dynamic intrinsic circadian oscillation, and can also lock the normal phase angles among the SCN, locomotor activity and peripheral oscillators in a similar manner as in intact control animals.
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ABSTRACT: Fetal grafts of the anterior hypothalamus (SCN/AH) containing the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) restore circadian rhythms to SCN-lesioned host hamsters and rats following implantation into the third ventricle. Previous studies suggest that intraventricular SCN/AH grafts are variable in their attachment sites, the extent of their outgrowth, and the precise targets innervated in the host brain. However, the use of different methods to analyze graft outgrowth in this model has previously led to inconsistent results. We have reevaluated the outgrowth of fetal rat SCN/AH grafts implanted in the third ventricle of hamsters by using two methods: the carbocyanine dye, 1,1'dioctadecyl-3,3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine percholate (DiI), was placed directly onto grafted tissue; and a donor-specific neurofilament marker was used in conjunction with xenografts. We examined the specificity of outgrowth by comparing SCN/AH xenografts with that of control cortical (CTX) xenografts. To evaluate whether SCN/AH graft efferents arise from the donor SCN, we used micropunch grafts that contained minimal extra-SCN tissue. The results show that the use of a donor-specific neurofilament marker reveals more extensive SCN/AH graft outgrowth than DiI. SCN/AH graft efferents project into areas normally innervated by the intact SCN. However, this outgrowth is variable among graft recipients, is not specific to SCN/AH tissue, and does not necessarily derive from the donor SCN. The precise functional role of neural efferents arising from SCN/AH grafts in the restoration of circadian clock function and the extent of SCN-derived efferents remain to be determined.The Journal of Comparative Neurology 02/1998; 391(1):133-45. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The mammalian master clock driving circadian rhythmicity in physiology and behavior resides within the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus. SCN neurons contain a molecular oscillator composed of a set of clock genes that acts in intertwined negative and positive feedback loops . In addition, all peripheral tissues analyzed thus far have been shown to contain circadian oscillators . This raises the question of whether the central circadian pacemaker in the SCN is sufficient to evoke behavioral rhythms or whether peripheral circadian clockworks are also required. Mice with a mutated CLOCK protein (a transcriptional activator of E box-containing clock and clock output genes) or lacking both CRYPTOCHROMES, mCRY1 and mCRY2 proteins (inhibitors of E box-mediated transcription), lack circadian rhythmicity in behavior [3,4]. Here, we show that transplantation of mouse fetal SCN tissue into the hypothalamus restores free-running circadian behavioral rhythmicity in Clock mutant or mCry1/mCry2 double knockout mice. The periodicity of the emerged rhythms is determined by the genetic constitution (i.e., wild-type or mCry2 knockout) of the grafted SCN. Since transplanted mCry1/mCry2-deficient mice do not have functional circadian oscillators  other than those present in the grafted hypothalamus region, these findings suggest that the SCN can generate circadian behavioral rhythms in the absence of distant peripheral oscillators in the brain or elsewhere.Current Biology 05/2003; 13(8):664-8. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the master circadian pacemaker in mammals, and one molecular regulator of circadian rhythms is the Clock gene. Here we studied the discharge patterns of SCN neurons isolated from Clock mutant mice. Long-term, multielectrode recordings showed that heterozygous Clock mutant neurons have lengthened periods and that homozygous Clock neurons are arrhythmic, paralleling the effects on locomotor activity in the animal. In addition, cells in dispersals expressed a wider range of periods and phase relationships than cells in explants. These results suggest that the Clock gene is required for circadian rhythmicity in individual SCN cells and that a mechanism within the SCN synchronizes neurons and restricts the range of expressed circadian periods.Nature Neuroscience 01/1999; 1(8):708-13. · 15.25 Impact Factor