The mammalian circadian system is composed of multiple peripheral clocks that are synchronized by a central pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus. This system keeps track of the external world rhythms through entrainment by various time cues, such as the light-dark cycle and the feeding schedule. Alterations of photoperiod and meal time modulate the phase coupling between central and peripheral oscillators. In this study, we used real-time quantitative PCR to assess circadian clock gene expression in the liver and pituitary gland from mice raised under various photoperiods, or under a temporal restricted feeding protocol. Our results revealed unexpected differences between both organs. Whereas the liver oscillator always tracked meal time, the pituitary circadian clockwork showed an intermediate response, in between entrainment by the light regimen and the feeding-fasting rhythm. The same composite response was also observed in the pituitary gland from adrenalectomized mice under daytime restricted feeding, suggesting that circulating glucocorticoids do not inhibit full entrainment of the pituitary clockwork by meal time. Altogether our results reveal further aspects in the complexity of phase entrainment in the circadian system, and suggest that the pituitary may host oscillators able to integrate multiple time cues.
In mammals, males and females exhibit anatomical, hormonal, and metabolic differences. A major example of such sex dimorphism in mouse involves hepatic drug metabolism, which is also a noticeable target of circadian timekeeping. However, whether the circadian clock itself contributes to sex-biased metabolism has remained unknown, although several daily output parameters differ between sexes in a number of species, including humans. Here we show that dimorphic liver metabolism is altered when the circadian regulators Cryptochromes, Cry1 and Cry2, are inactivated. Indeed, double mutant Cry1(-/-) Cry2(-/-) male mice that lack a functional circadian clock express a number of sex-specific liver products, including several cytochrome P450 enzymes, at levels close to those measured in females. In addition, body growth of Cry-deficient mice is impaired, also in a sex-biased manner, and this phenotype goes along with an altered pattern of circulating growth hormone (GH) in mutant males, specifically. It is noteworthy that hormonal injections able to mimic male GH pulses reversed the feminized gene expression profile in the liver of Cry1(-/-) Cry2(-/-) males. Altogether, our observations suggest that the 24-h clock paces the dimorphic ultradian pulsatility of GH that is responsible for sex-dependent liver activity. We thus conclude that circadian timing, sex dimorphism, and liver metabolism are finely interconnected.
Reproduction is a fundamental biological function ensuring individual descendant survival and species perpetuity. It is an energy-consuming process, and therefore, all underlying mechanisms have to work in synchrony to ensure reproductive success. Synchronization of reproductive activity with the best time of the day or the year is part of such adaptive processes. Recently, a neuropeptide named kisspeptin, synthesized in two discrete hypothalamic nuclei, the anteroventral periventricular nucleus and the arcuate nucleus, has been demonstrated to be a potent stimulator operating upstream of the gonadotropic axis. In this review, we show how kisspeptinergic neurons integrate daily and seasonal time cues to synchronize reproductive activity with the cycling environment.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.