Articles by Jenke A. Gorter in JoVE
Other articles by Jenke A. Gorter on PubMed
Cold and Hunger Induce Diurnality in a Nocturnal Mammal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Oct, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 25288753 The mammalian circadian system synchronizes daily timing of activity and rest with the environmental light-dark cycle. Although the underlying molecular oscillatory mechanism is well studied, factors that influence phenotypic plasticity in daily activity patterns (temporal niche switching, chronotype) are presently unknown. Molecular evidence suggests that metabolism may influence the circadian molecular clock, but evidence at the level of the organism is lacking. Here we show that a metabolic challenge by cold and hunger induces diurnality in otherwise nocturnal mice. Lowering ambient temperature changes the phase of circadian light-dark entrainment in mice by increasing daytime and decreasing nighttime activity. This effect is further enhanced by simulated food shortage, which identifies metabolic balance as the underlying common factor influencing circadian organization. Clock gene expression analysis shows that the underlying neuronal mechanism is downstream from or parallel to the main circadian pacemaker (the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus) and that the behavioral phenotype is accompanied by phase adjustment of peripheral tissues. These findings indicate that nocturnal mammals can display considerable plasticity in circadian organization and may adopt a diurnal phenotype when energetically challenged. Our previously defined circadian thermoenergetics hypothesis proposes that such circadian plasticity, which naturally occurs in nocturnal mammals, reflects adaptive maintenance of energy balance. Quantification of energy expenditure shows that diurnality under natural conditions reduces thermoregulatory costs in small burrowing mammals like mice. Metabolic feedback on circadian organization thus provides functional benefits by reducing energy expenditure. Our findings may help to clarify relationships between sleep-wake patterns and metabolic phenotypes in humans.
Diurnality As an Energy-saving Strategy: Energetic Consequences of Temporal Niche Switching in Small Mammals The Journal of Experimental Biology. Aug, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26290592 Endogenous daily (circadian) rhythms allow organisms to anticipate daily changes in the environment. Most mammals are specialized to be active during the night (nocturnal) or day (diurnal). However, typically nocturnal mammals become diurnal when energetically challenged by cold or hunger. The circadian thermo-energetics (CTE) hypothesis predicts that diurnal activity patterns reduce daily energy expenditure (DEE) compared with nocturnal activity patterns. Here, we tested the CTE hypothesis by quantifying the energetic consequences of relevant environmental factors in mice. Under natural conditions, diurnality reduces DEE by 6-10% in energetically challenged mice. Combined with night-time torpor, as observed in mice under prolonged food scarcity, DEE can be reduced by ∼20%. The dominant factor determining the energetic benefit of diurnality is thermal buffering provided by a sheltered resting location. Compared with nocturnal animals, diurnal animals encounter higher ambient temperatures during both day and night, leading to reduced thermogenesis costs in temperate climates. Analysis of weather station data shows that diurnality is energetically beneficial on almost all days of the year in a temperate climate region. Furthermore, diurnality provides energetic benefits at all investigated geographical locations on European longitudinal and latitudinal transects. The reduction of DEE by diurnality provides an ultimate explanation for temporal niche switching observed in typically nocturnal small mammals under energetically challenging conditions. Diurnality allows mammals to compensate for reductions in food availability and temperature as it reduces energetic needs. The optimal circadian organization of an animal ultimately depends on the balance between energetic consequences and other fitness consequences of the selected temporal niche.
The Nutritional and Hedonic Value of Food Modulate Sexual Receptivity in Drosophila Melanogaster Females Scientific Reports. Jan, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 26777264 Food and sex often go hand in hand because of the nutritional cost of reproduction. For Drosophila melanogaster females, this relationship is especially intimate because their offspring develop on food. Since yeast and sugars are important nutritional pillars for Drosophila, availability of these foods should inform female reproductive behaviours. Yet mechanisms coupling food and sex are poorly understood. Here we show that yeast increases female sexual receptivity through interaction between its protein content and its odorous fermentation product acetic acid, sensed by the Ionotropic odorant receptor neuron Ir75a. A similar interaction between nutritional and hedonic value applies to sugars where taste and caloric value only increase sexual receptivity when combined. Integration of nutritional and sensory values would ensure that there are sufficient internal nutrients for egg production as well as sufficient environmental nutrients for offspring survival. These findings provide mechanisms through which females may maximize reproductive output in changing environments.