Daily oscillation and photoresponses of clock gene, Clock, and clock-associated gene, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase gene transcriptions in the rat pineal gland.
ABSTRACT This study was conducted to investigate the circadian rhythms and light responses of Clock and arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) gene expressions in the rat pineal gland under the environmental conditions of a 12 h light (05:00-17:00 h): 12 h-dark (17:00-05:00 h) cycle (LD) and constant darkness (DD). The pineal gland of Sprague-Dawley rats housed under a LD regime (n=42) for four weeks and of a regime (n=42) for eight weeks were sampled at six different times, every 4 h (n=7 animals per time point), during a 24 h period. Total RNA was extracted from each sample, and the semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to determine temporal changes in mRNA levels of Clock and NAT genes during different circadian or zeitgeber times. The data and parameters were analyzed by the cosine function software, Clock Lab software, and the amplitude F test was used to reveal the circadian rhythm. In the DD or LD condition, both the Clock and NAT mRNA levels in the pineal gland showed robust circadian oscillation (p<0.05) with the peak at the subjective night or at nighttime. In comparison with the DD regime, the amplitudes and mRNA levels at the peaks of Clock and NAT expressions in LD in the pineal gland were significantly reduced (p<0.05). In the DD or LD condition, the circadian expressions of NAT were similar in pattern to those of Clock in the pineal gland (p>0.05). These findings indicate that the transcriptions of Clock and NAT genes in the pineal gland not only show remarkably synchronous endogenous circadian rhythmic changes, but also respond to the ambient light signal in a reduced manner.
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ABSTRACT: In this study, we explored the circadian effects of daily radiofrequency field (RF) exposure on reproductive functional markers in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals in circadian rhythm (as indicated by melatonin measurements), were divided into several groups and exposed to 1800 MHz RF at 205 μw/cm(2) power density (specific absorption rate 0.0405 W/kg) for 2 h/day for 32 days at different zeitgeber time (ZT) points, namely, ZT0, ZT4, ZT8, ZT12, ZT16 and ZT20. Sham-exposed animals were used as controls in the study. From each rat, testicular and epididymis tissues were collected and assessed for testosterone levels, daily sperm production and sperm motility, testis marker enzymes γ-GT and ACP, cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (p450cc) mRNA expression, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) mRNA expression. Via these measurements, we confirmed the existence of circadian rhythms in sham-exposed animals. However, rats exposed to RF exhibited a disruption of circadian rhythms, decreased testosterone levels, lower daily sperm production and sperm motility, down-regulated activity of γ-GT and ACP, as well as altered mRNA expression of cytochrome P450 and StAR. All of these observations were more pronounced when rats were exposed to RF at ZT0. Thus, our findings indicate potential adverse effects of RF exposure on male reproductive functional markers, in terms of both the daily overall levels as well as the circadian rhythmicity.Chronobiology International 10/2013; · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Female reproduction requires the precise temporal organization of interacting, estradiol-sensitive neural circuits that converge to optimally drive hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis functioning. In mammals, the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus coordinates reproductively relevant neuroendocrine events necessary to maximize reproductive success. Likewise, in species where periods of fertility are brief, circadian oversight of reproductive function ensures that estradiol-dependent increases in sexual motivation coincide with ovulation. Across species, including humans, disruptions to circadian timing (e.g., through rotating shift work, night shift work, poor sleep hygiene) lead to pronounced deficits in ovulation and fecundity. Despite the well-established roles for the circadian system in female reproductive functioning, the specific neural circuits and neurochemical mediators underlying these interactions are not fully understood. Most work to date has focused on the direct and indirect communication from the SCN to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) system in control of the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. However, the same clock genes underlying circadian rhythms at the cellular level in SCN cells are also common to target cell populations of the SCN, including the GnRH neuronal network. Exploring the means by which the master clock synergizes with subordinate clocks in GnRH cells and its upstream modulatory systems represents an exciting opportunity to further understand the role of endogenous timing systems in female reproduction. Herein we provide an overview of the state of knowledge regarding interactions between the circadian timing system and estradiol-sensitive neural circuits driving GnRH secretion and the preovulatory LH surge.Frontiers in Endocrinology 01/2012; 3:60.
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ABSTRACT: Australian sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) exhibit marked locomotor activity rhythms in the field and laboratory. Light-dark (LD) and temperature cycles (TCs) are considered important for the entrainment of circadian locomotor activity rhythms and for mediating seasonal adjustments in aspects of these rhythms, such as phase, amplitude, and activity pattern. The relative importance of 24 h LD and TCs in entraining the circadian locomotor activity rhythm in T. rugosa was examined in three experiments. In the first experiment, lizards were held under LD 12:12 and subjected to either a TC of 33:15 degrees C in phase with the LD cycle or a reversed TC positioned in antiphase to the LD cycle. Following LD 12:12, lizards were maintained under the same TCs but were subjected to DD. Activity was restricted to the thermophase in LD, irrespective of the lighting regime and during the period of DD that followed, suggesting entrainment by the TC. The amplitude of the TC was lowered by 8 degrees C to reduce the intensity and possible masking effect of the TC zeitgeber in subsequent experiments. In the second experiment, lizards were held under LD 12.5:11.5 and subjected to one of three treatments: constant 30 degrees C, normal TC (30:20 degrees C) in phase with the LD cycle, or reversed TC. Following LD, all lizards were subjected to DD and constant 30 degrees C. Post-entrainment free-run records revealed that LD cycles and TCs could both entrain the locomotor rhythms of T. rugosa. In LD, mean activity duration (alpha) of lizards in the normal TC group was considerably less than that in the constant 30 degrees C group. Mean alpha also increased between LD and DD in lizards in the normal TC group. Although there was large variation in the phasing of the rhythm in relation to the LD cycle in reversed TC lizards, TCs presented in phase with the LD cycle most accurately synchronized the rhythm to the photocycle. In the third experiment, lizards were held in DD at constant 30 degrees C before being subjected to a further period of DD and one of four treatments: normal TC (06:00 to 18:00 h thermophase), delayed TC (12:00 to 00:00 h thermophase), advanced TC (00:00 to 12:00 h thermophase), or control (no TC, constant 30 degrees C). While control lizards continued to free-run in DD at constant temperature, the locomotor activity rhythms of lizards subjected to TCs rapidly entrained to TCs, whether or not the TC was phase advanced or delayed by 6 h. There was no difference in the phase relationships of lizard activity rhythms to the onset of the thermophase among the normal, delayed, and advanced TC groups, suggesting equally strong entrainment to the TC in each group. The results of this experiment excluded the possibility that masking effects were responsible for the locomotor activity responses of lizards to TCs. The three experiments demonstrated that TCs are important for entraining circadian locomotor activity rhythms of T. rugosa, even when photic cues are conflicting or absent, and that an interaction between LD cycles and TCs most accurately synchronizes this rhythm.Chronobiology International 10/2009; 26(7):1369-88. · 4.35 Impact Factor