Navigation Links
Differences in jet lag severity could be rooted in how circadian clock sets itself
Date:10/13/2011

It's no secret that long-distance, west-to-east air travel Seattle to Paris, for example can raise havoc with a person's sleep and waking patterns, and that the effects are substantially less pronounced when traveling in the opposite direction.

Now researchers, including a University of Washington biologist, have found hints that differing molecular processes in an area of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus might play a significant role in those jet lag differences.

Human circadian clocks operate on a period about 20 minutes longer than one day and so must be synchronized to the light-dark cycle of the solar day, delaying or advancing their time in response to light.

Someone whose clock runs faster than a solar day must delay it on a daily basis, and someone whose clock runs slower than a solar day must advance it. These daily adjustments happen naturally, and without our noticing, but the process is disrupted by sudden large shifts in the light-dark cycle because of a radically new geographic location.

Researchers previously learned that delaying the circadian clock happens through different pathways in the suprachiasmatic nucleus than advancing the clock does. The new research shows that, at a molecular level, the mechanisms responsible for resetting the expression of the "clock genes" are drastically different.

"We have known for decades that, in humans and other organisms, advances are always much harder to achieve than delays. For example, compare jet lag going to Europe with that coming back," said Horacio de la Iglesia, a UW associate professor of biology.

"One of the reasons may be that these two forms of resetting the clock involve different molecular mechanisms at the clock level," he said.

de la Iglesia and William Schwartz of the University of Massachusetts Medical School are corresponding authors of a paper detailing the research, published online recently (Oct. 3) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authors are Mahboubeh Tavakoli-Nezhad, Christopher Lambert and David Weaver, also of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The researchers exposed hamsters to two light-dark cycles, one of 23.33 hours and the other at 24.67 hours, to test the mechanisms that advance and delay the circadian clock. A one-hour light pulse in the shorter cycle acted as dawn, but in the longer cycle it acted as dusk. The scientists confirmed that the pulse of light at dawn advanced the animals' circadian clocks, while the light at dusk delayed the clocks.

The results suggest that different molecular mechanisms in the suprachiasmatic nucleus are at work when the circadian clocks are advanced than when the clocks are delayed, de la Iglesia said.

That could provide clues for understanding how circadian clocks work in nocturnal animals in natural conditions, and it could help in understanding potential remedies for jet lag.


'/>"/>

Contact: Vince Stricherz
vinces@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
2. Study sheds light on genetic differences that cause a childhood eye disease
3. Study identifies genetic variants giving rise to differences in metabolism
4. Genetic differences between yeasts greater than those between humans and chimpanzees
5. Differences in neighborhood food environment may contribute to disparities in obesity
6. Differences among exercisers and nonexercisers during pregnancy
7. Differences among exercisers and nonexercisers during pregnancy
8. Risk of vibration-induced vascular injuries linked to vibration frequency differences
9. Tiny differences in our genes help shed light on the big picture of human history
10. Geography and history shape genetic differences in humans
11. Scientists demonstrate importance of niche differences in biodiversity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: