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

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.


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

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