bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2022‒03‒27
four papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. Neuroendocrinology. 2022 Mar 22.
      AIMS: Our study addresses underlying mechanisms of disruption of the circadian timing system by low-intensity artificial light at night (ALAN), which is a growing global problem, associated with serious health consequences.METHODS: Rats were exposed to low-intensity (~2 lx) ALAN for 2 weeks. Using in situ hybridization, we assessed 24-h profiles of clock and clock-controlled genes in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) and other hypothalamic regions, which receive input from the master clock. Moreover, we measured daily rhythms of hormones within the main neuroendocrine axes as well as the detailed daily pattern of feeding and drinking behavior in metabolic cages.
    RESULTS: ALAN strongly suppressed the molecular clockwork in the SCN, as indicated by the suppressed rhythmicity in the clock (Per1, Per2 and Nr1d1) and clock output (arginine vasopressin) genes. ALAN disturbed rhythmic Per1 expression in the paraventricular and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei, which convey the circadian signals from the master clock to endocrine and behavioral rhythms. Disruption of hormonal output pathways was manifested by the suppressed and phase-advanced corticosterone rhythm and lost daily variations in plasma melatonin, testosterone, and vasopressin. Importantly, ALAN altered the daily profile in food and water intake and eliminated the clock-controlled surge of drinking two hours prior to the onset of the rest period, indicating disturbed circadian control of anticipatory thirst and fluid balance during sleep.
    CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight compromised time-keeping function of the central clock and multiple circadian outputs, through which ALAN disturbs the temporal organization of physiology and behavior.
  2. Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 24. 13(1): 1594
      Ubiquitin ligases control the degradation of core clock proteins to govern the speed and resetting properties of the circadian pacemaker. However, few studies have addressed their potential to regulate other cellular events within clock neurons beyond clock protein turnover. Here, we report that the ubiquitin ligase, UBR4/POE, strengthens the central pacemaker by facilitating neuropeptide trafficking in clock neurons and promoting network synchrony. Ubr4-deficient mice are resistant to jetlag, whereas poe knockdown flies are prone to arrhythmicity, behaviors reflective of the reduced axonal trafficking of circadian neuropeptides. At the cellular level, Ubr4 ablation impairs the export of secreted proteins from the Golgi apparatus by reducing the expression of Coronin 7, which is required for budding of Golgi-derived transport vesicles. In summary, UBR4/POE fulfills a conserved and unexpected role in the vesicular trafficking of neuropeptides, a function that has important implications for circadian clock synchrony and circuit-level signal processing.
  3. Curr Biol. 2022 Mar 15. pii: S0960-9822(22)00337-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ingested nutrients are proposed to control mammalian behavior by modulating the activity of hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin neurons (HONs). Previous in vitro studies showed that nutrients ubiquitous in mammalian diets, such as non-essential amino acids (AAs) and glucose, modulate HONs in distinct ways. Glucose inhibits HONs, whereas non-essential (but not essential) AAs activate HONs. The latter effect is of particular interest because its purpose is unknown. Here, we show that ingestion of a dietary-relevant mix of non-essential AAs activates HONs and shifts behavior from eating to exploration. These effects persisted despite ablation of a key neural gut → brain communication pathway, the cholecystokinin-sensitive vagal afferents. The behavioral shift induced by the ingested non-essential AAs was recapitulated by targeted HON optostimulation and abolished in mice lacking HONs. Furthermore, lick microstructure analysis indicated that intragastric non-essential AAs and HON optostimulation each reduce the size, but not the frequency, of consumption bouts, thus implicating food palatability modulation as a mechanism for the eating suppression. Collectively, these results suggest that a key purpose of HON activation by ingested, non-essential AAs is to suppress eating and re-initiate food seeking. We propose and discuss possible evolutionary advantages of this, such as optimizing the limited stomach capacity for ingestion of essential nutrients.
    Keywords:  amino acids; appetite; behavior; diet; exploration; food intake; hypocretin; hypothalamus; orexin
  4. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 15. pii: 1235. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      Sex steroids modify feeding behavior and body weight regulation, and androgen reportedly augments food intake and body weight gain. To elucidate the role of endogenous androgens in the feeding regulation induced by reduced glucose availability, we examined the effect of gonadectomy (orchiectomy) on food intake and orexin A neuron's activity in the lateral hypothalamic/perifornical area (LH/PFA) in response to reduced glucose availability (glucoprivation) induced by 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2DG) administration in male rats. Rats (7W) were bilaterally orchiectomized (ORX group) or sham operated (Sham group). Seventeen days after the surgery, food intake response to 2DG (400 mg/kg, i.v.) was measured for 4 h after the infusion. The same experiment was performed for the immunohistochemical examination of c-Fos-expressing orexin A neurons in the LH/PFA and c-Fos expression in the arcuate nucleus (Arc). Food intake induced by glucoprivation was greater in the ORX group than the Sham group, and the glucoprivation-induced food intake was inversely correlated with plasma testosterone concentration. Glucoprivation stimulated c-Fos expression of the orexin A neurons at the LH/PFA and c-Fos expression in the dorsomedial Arc. The number and percentage of c-Fos-expressing orexin A neurons in the LH/PFA and c-Fos expression in the dorsomedial Arc were significantly higher in the ORX group than the Sham group. This indicates that endogenous androgen, possibly testosterone, diminishes the food intake induced by reduced glucose availability, possibly via the attenuated activity of orexin A neuron in the LH/PFA and neurons in the dorsomedial Arc.
    Keywords:  2-deoxy-d-glucose; arcuate nucleus; feeding behavior; glucoprivation; glucose availability; lateral hypothalamic area; orchiectomy; orexin; perifornical area; testosterone