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"Differential Rescue of Light- and Food-Entrainable Circadian Rhythms", Science

May 23, 2008

Differential Rescue of Light- and Food-Entrainable Circadian Rhythms
Published in Science 23 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5879, pp. 1074 - 1077
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153277
By authors Patrick M. Fuller, PhD, Jun Lu, MD, PhD, and Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD

When food is plentiful, circadian rhythms of animals are powerfully entrained by the light-dark cycle. However, if animals have access to food only during their normal sleep cycle, they will shift most of their circadian rhythms to match the food availability. We studied the basis for entrainment of circadian rhythms by food and light in mice with targeted disruption of the clock gene Bmal1, which lack circadian rhythmicity. Injection of a viral vector containing the Bmal1 gene into the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus restored light-entrainable, but not food-entrainable, circadian rhythms. In contrast, restoration of the Bmal1 gene only in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus restored the ability of animals to entrain to food but not to light. These results demonstrate that the dorsomedial hypothalamus contains a Bmal1-based oscillator that can drive food entrainment of circadian rhythms.

Related Links
Link to abstract on Science Magazine website
Science Podcast: Interview with Clifford Saper on light- and food-entrainable circadian rhythms
Reuters: "Starving may fend off jet lag"

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