Biological Clocks

Sample Exam Question
Following consumption of large amounts of water, which of the following would be a likely consequence in a human? a. Decreased glomerular filtration b. Decreased secretion of aldosterone c. Decreased formation of urine d. Decreased secretion of antidiuretic hormone

y y Pages 1152-1154 Pages 826-830

Biological Clocks
Any point on a biological cycle is a called a phase of the cycle. If there are two biological rhythms being studied, if they are identical we say they are inphase. If one is different from the other than it is either phase-advanced or phase-delayed.

Circadian Rhythms

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The term circadian comes from a combination of circa (about) and diem (day). Circadian rhythms have been seen in organisms ranging from bacteria all the way up to humans. They affect a wide variety of behavioural and physiological functions such as rest/activity, temperature, and psychomotor performance. Entrainment: Resetting of the circadian rhythm by environmental cues



Free running: Under constant conditions the animal will not be entrained to the 24-hour cycle but rather the clock will run according to its natural periods Egg-laying in hens is entrained to dusk and in total dark eggs are laid about every 22 hours.

y y y y y Rhythms found in algae to mammals Rhythms persist in constant environments Rhythms are independent of temperature Entrained: specific cues readjust rhythms Behavioural responses must also be timed appropriately for daily and seasonal cycles of environmental change

Noncircadian Endogenous Rhythms
y Infradian: o Less than a day o Associated with cell cycle Ultradian o Greater than a day Circatidal/lunar: o E.g. spawning in Grunion (fish) Circannual: o E.g. fur colour, hibernation, reproduction wood%20site/other_rhythms.htm

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Where is the Biological Clock in Mammals?
y y y Suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain Integrates info from eyes and higher brain centers (internal pacemaker) Affects many systems: endocrine, immune, autonomic nervous system

How would you prove that the suprachiasmatic nucleus is the biological clock?

SCN Transplants Restore Circadian Rhythms
y y y y SCN lesion Loss of rhythm Transplant SCN Restore rhythm

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The biological clock in fruit flies is controlled by the Per gene. Mutant flies that lacked the biological clock could be restored to a normal rhythm by insertion of the Per gene

Original per Gene Rescue Experiments

Are clock genes found only in the SCN?
y y y y The ³clock´ gene is expressed in Zebrafish brain, eye, pineal, kidney and heart, and it oscillates in vitro. Brief exposure to light at night activates a signaling cascade in the SCN. The circadian clock protein BMAL1 is necessary for fertility and proper testosterone production in mice. Insulin secretion has a circadian rhythm which is partly due to circadian melatonin secretion and may be partly due to pancreatic expression of clock genes.

Melatonin and Jet-Lag

y y y y Inject mice with aspirin at different times Measure plasma aspirin Concentration one-hour post injection Aspirin levels vary with time of day

Horse Reproduction
y y y Hypothalamus, pituitary, and gonads are stimulated by increasing photoperiod Increasing day length from 16 to 18 hours of light with electric light allows breeding earlier The reproductive response to a decrease in photoperiod is modified by energy availability, which may involve leptin

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