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The physiological period length of the human circadian clock in vivo is directly proportional to period in human fibroblasts


Pagani, L; Semenova, E A; Moriggi, E; Revell, V L; Hack, L M; Lockley, S W; Arendt, J; Skene, D J; Meier, F; Izakovic, J; Wirz-Justice, A; Cajochen, C; Sergeeva, O J; Cheresiz, S V; Danilenko, K V; Eckert, A; Brown, S A (2010). The physiological period length of the human circadian clock in vivo is directly proportional to period in human fibroblasts. PLoS ONE, 5(10):e13376.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Diurnal behavior in humans is governed by the period length of a circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain hypothalamus. Nevertheless, the cell-intrinsic mechanism of this clock is present in most cells of the body. We have shown previously that for individuals of extreme chronotype ("larks" and "owls"), clock properties measured in human fibroblasts correlated with extreme diurnal behavior. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we have measured circadian period in human primary fibroblasts taken from normal individuals and, for the first time, compared it directly with physiological period measured in vivo in the same subjects. Human physiological period length was estimated via the secretion pattern of the hormone melatonin in two different groups of sighted subjects and one group of totally blind subjects, each using different methods. Fibroblast period length was measured via cyclical expression of a lentivirally delivered circadian reporter. Within each group, a positive linear correlation was observed between circadian period length in physiology and in fibroblast gene expression. Interestingly, although blind individuals showed on average the same fibroblast clock properties as sighted ones, their physiological periods were significantly longer. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that the period of human circadian behaviour is mostly driven by cellular clock properties in normal individuals and can be approximated by measurement in peripheral cells such as fibroblasts. Based upon differences among sighted and blind subjects, we also speculate that period can be modified by prolonged unusual conditions such as the total light deprivation of blindness.

BACKGROUND: Diurnal behavior in humans is governed by the period length of a circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain hypothalamus. Nevertheless, the cell-intrinsic mechanism of this clock is present in most cells of the body. We have shown previously that for individuals of extreme chronotype ("larks" and "owls"), clock properties measured in human fibroblasts correlated with extreme diurnal behavior. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we have measured circadian period in human primary fibroblasts taken from normal individuals and, for the first time, compared it directly with physiological period measured in vivo in the same subjects. Human physiological period length was estimated via the secretion pattern of the hormone melatonin in two different groups of sighted subjects and one group of totally blind subjects, each using different methods. Fibroblast period length was measured via cyclical expression of a lentivirally delivered circadian reporter. Within each group, a positive linear correlation was observed between circadian period length in physiology and in fibroblast gene expression. Interestingly, although blind individuals showed on average the same fibroblast clock properties as sighted ones, their physiological periods were significantly longer. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that the period of human circadian behaviour is mostly driven by cellular clock properties in normal individuals and can be approximated by measurement in peripheral cells such as fibroblasts. Based upon differences among sighted and blind subjects, we also speculate that period can be modified by prolonged unusual conditions such as the total light deprivation of blindness.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:10 Jan 2011 08:55
Last Modified:17 Aug 2016 08:30
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0013376
PubMed ID:21042402
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-39515

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