Navigation Links
Circadian gene helps the brain predict mealtime

By investigating how animals can predict the timing of food availability, researchers have identified the first gene critical for anticipation of mealtime. This gene, called Period 2, is a key component of the circadian time-keeping system. The findings are reported by Urs Albrecht of the University of Fribourg and Etienne Challet of the University Louis Pasteur/CNRS and colleagues in the October 24th issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

A daily scheduled meal is a potent time-giving cue that can reset the physiological timing of most organs, including the liver. In terms of animal behavior, a daily scheduled meal elicits anticipatory bouts of locomotor activity and changes in body temperature. These food-anticipatory behaviors are believed to be under the control of a food-entrainable mechanism--that is, a timing mechanism within the body that is set by food intake--but how this mechanism works at the molecular level is unknown.

In the new work, the researchers have found the first evidence that a single gene mutation can render mice totally unable to predict the time of food availability. Studying mice, they found that this lack of food anticipation at both behavioral and physiological levels is specifically associated with a mutation in the Period 2 gene, a gene that previous work had shown to play an important role in the brain's ability to run its central circadian clock according to daylight.

The researchers found that, interestingly, synchronization of timing between organs by scheduled meals is not affected by the Period 2 mutation, indicating that this gene is not crucial for scheduled food availability to affect the physiological coordination of tissues outside the central nervous system.

The authors of the study point out that the work they report provides a tool for investigating the brain's cerebral clockwork responsible for predicting mealtime--with this tool in hand, it will be possible to anatomically localize areas of the brain that are involved in food anticipation. Looking forward, the researchers expect that this will allow the study of how these areas interact with other brain regions responsible for other types of behavior, such as learning, memory, and the experience of pleasure.

Knowledge of the mechanism of synchronizing an organism's physiology to mealtime is expected to improve therapies for counteracting disorders that have their roots in a disturbed circadian system, such as sleep problems, eating disorders, obesity, and depression.
'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Jumping gene helps explain immune systems abilities
2. Protein helps regulate the genes of embryonic stem cells
3. Scientists reveal the shape of a protein that helps retroviruses break into cells
4. Thai spice helps cut blood sugar swings
5. Chemists synthesize molecule that helps body battle cancers, malaria
6. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
7. Massey Cancer Center researcher helps to identify a piece of the cancer puzzle
8. Study: Well-known protein helps stem cells become secretory cells
9. Beyond genes: Lipid helps cell wall protein fold into proper shape
10. Simple sea sponge helps scientists understand tissue rejection
11. New technique helps identify multiple DNA regulatory sites

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/23/2017)... Mar. 23, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to ... ... a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade to reach ... analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 At this year,s ... -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand ... is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics ... in use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , Australia , March 9, ... study data at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop ... Andreas Fouras , was invited to deliver the ... pulmonary medicine. This globally recognised event brings together leaders ... share the latest developments in lung imaging. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Mitotech S.A, a Luxembourg ... Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) patients. LHON is a rare devastating genetic disease that leads ... eye drops in a group of 20 patients carrying 11778, 14484 and 3460 mutations ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... During the course ... how testing for 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D can enhance clinical practice. Participants will learn the ... dihydroxyvitamin D. , Dr. Gregory Plotnikoff, senior consultant with Minnesota Personalized Medicine, will ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... optics and photonics , joined other scientists, researchers, engineers, and industry professionals in ... to strengthen America's ability to compete in the world photonics industry. , This ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... , April 27, 2017  Kinexum, a distinguished ... products, today announces the appointment of Thomas C. ... Alexander ("Zan") Fleming, M.D., Kinexum founder, who becomes Executive ... advisor to Kinexum clients. Thomas Seoh ... on the Kinexum mission and lead the firm,s remarkable ...
Breaking Biology Technology: