Frontiers in Mammalian Circadian Biology

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Behavioural Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 15926

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Université de Montpellier, CNRS, INSERM, 34094 Montpellier, France
Interests: suprachiasmatic nuclei; calcium-signaling; neuroendocrine rhythms; pituitary; hypothyroidism

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Guest Editor
Department of Physiology and Systems Bioscience, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
Interests: circadian clocks; suprachiasmatic nuclei; circadian misalignment; circadian disorders; human physiology; development; aging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Circadian rhythms are biological processes recurring within a 24-hour period, in resonance with the natural day–night cycle. They are observed at the molecular, physiological, and behavioral level, and rely on endogenous clocks that enable living organisms to anticipate predictable variations in their environment. A conserved molecular clockwork encodes circadian time in virtually every mammalian cell, thereby defining a large number of cell-autonomous oscillators coordinated by a central circadian pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Disruptions of this circadian system cause adverse health issues ranging from the simple ailment of jetlag to severe diseases.

This Special Issue, "Frontiers in Mammalian Circadian Biology", will gather a selection of articles addressing the new challenges in chronobiology, from cell type-specific molecular mechanisms to behaviors and systemic functions. Contributions on every aspect of circadian rhythms in terms of health and disease, both in animal models and human subjects, are welcome. Reviews as well as short and full-length research papers will be considered.

Dr. Xavier Bonnefont
Prof. Dr. Kazuhiro Yagita
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • circadian clocks
  • suprachiasmatic nuclei
  • mood disorders
  • immune system
  • aging
  • circadian misalignment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Review

11 pages, 295 KiB  
Review
A Journey in the Brain’s Clock: In Vivo Veritas?
by Alec J. Davidson, Delaney Beckner and Xavier Bonnefont
Biology 2023, 12(8), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12081136 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1374
Abstract
The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus contain the circadian pacemaker that coordinates mammalian rhythms in tune with the day-night cycle. Understanding the determinants of the intrinsic rhythmicity of this biological clock, its outputs, and resetting by environmental cues, has been a longstanding [...] Read more.
The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus contain the circadian pacemaker that coordinates mammalian rhythms in tune with the day-night cycle. Understanding the determinants of the intrinsic rhythmicity of this biological clock, its outputs, and resetting by environmental cues, has been a longstanding goal of the field. Integrated techniques of neurophysiology, including lesion studies and in vivo multi-unit electrophysiology, have been key to characterizing the rhythmic nature and outputs of the SCN in animal models. In parallel, reduced ex vivo and in vitro approaches have permitted us to unravel molecular, cellular, and multicellular mechanisms underlying the pacemaker properties of the SCN. New questions have emerged in recent years that will require combining investigation at a cell resolution within the physiological context of the living animal: What is the role of specific cell subpopulations in the SCN neural network? How do they integrate various external and internal inputs? What are the circuits involved in controlling other body rhythms? Here, we review what we have already learned about the SCN from in vivo studies, and how the recent development of new genetically encoded tools and cutting-edge imaging technology in neuroscience offers chronobiologists the opportunity to meet these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mammalian Circadian Biology)
21 pages, 1410 KiB  
Review
Reciprocal Interactions between Circadian Clocks, Food Intake, and Energy Metabolism
by Emma Grosjean, Valérie Simonneaux and Etienne Challet
Biology 2023, 12(4), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12040539 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3957
Abstract
Like other biological functions, food intake and energy metabolism display daily rhythms controlled by the circadian timing system that comprises a main circadian clock and numerous secondary clocks in the brain and peripheral tissues. Each secondary circadian clock delivers local temporal cues based [...] Read more.
Like other biological functions, food intake and energy metabolism display daily rhythms controlled by the circadian timing system that comprises a main circadian clock and numerous secondary clocks in the brain and peripheral tissues. Each secondary circadian clock delivers local temporal cues based on intracellular transcriptional and translational feedback loops that are tightly interconnected to intracellular nutrient-sensing pathways. Genetic impairment of molecular clocks and alteration in the rhythmic synchronizing cues, such as ambient light at night or mistimed meals, lead to circadian disruption that, in turn, negatively impacts metabolic health. Not all circadian clocks are sensitive to the same synchronizing signals. The master clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus is mostly synchronized by ambient light and, to a lesser extent, by behavioral cues coupled to arousal and exercise. Secondary clocks are generally phase-shifted by timed metabolic cues associated with feeding, exercise, and changes in temperature. Furthermore, both the master and secondary clocks are modulated by calorie restriction and high-fat feeding. Taking into account the regularity of daily meals, the duration of eating periods, chronotype, and sex, chrononutritional strategies may be useful for improving the robustness of daily rhythmicity and maintaining or even restoring the appropriate energy balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mammalian Circadian Biology)
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21 pages, 1973 KiB  
Review
Inputs and Outputs of the Mammalian Circadian Clock
by Ashley N. Starnes and Jeff R. Jones
Biology 2023, 12(4), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12040508 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5673
Abstract
Circadian rhythms in mammals are coordinated by the central circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Light and other environmental inputs change the timing of the SCN neural network oscillator, which, in turn, sends output signals that entrain daily behavioral and physiological rhythms. While [...] Read more.
Circadian rhythms in mammals are coordinated by the central circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Light and other environmental inputs change the timing of the SCN neural network oscillator, which, in turn, sends output signals that entrain daily behavioral and physiological rhythms. While much is known about the molecular, neuronal, and network properties of the SCN itself, the circuits linking the outside world to the SCN and the SCN to rhythmic outputs are understudied. In this article, we review our current understanding of the synaptic and non-synaptic inputs onto and outputs from the SCN. We propose that a more complete description of SCN connectivity is needed to better explain how rhythms in nearly all behaviors and physiological processes are generated and to determine how, mechanistically, these rhythms are disrupted by disease or lifestyle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mammalian Circadian Biology)
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21 pages, 1608 KiB  
Review
Circle(s) of Life: The Circadian Clock from Birth to Death
by Iwona Olejniczak, Violetta Pilorz and Henrik Oster
Biology 2023, 12(3), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12030383 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3868
Abstract
Most lifeforms on earth use endogenous, so-called circadian clocks to adapt to 24-h cycles in environmental demands driven by the planet’s rotation around its axis. Interactions with the environment change over the course of a lifetime, and so does regulation of the circadian [...] Read more.
Most lifeforms on earth use endogenous, so-called circadian clocks to adapt to 24-h cycles in environmental demands driven by the planet’s rotation around its axis. Interactions with the environment change over the course of a lifetime, and so does regulation of the circadian clock system. In this review, we summarize how circadian clocks develop in humans and experimental rodents during embryonic development, how they mature after birth and what changes occur during puberty, adolescence and with increasing age. Special emphasis is laid on the circadian regulation of reproductive systems as major organizers of life segments and life span. We discuss differences in sexes and outline potential areas for future research. Finally, potential options for medical applications of lifespan chronobiology are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mammalian Circadian Biology)
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