Peripheral Circadian Oscillators in Mammals
Although circadian rhythms in mammalian physiology and behavior are dependent upon a biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus, the molecular mechanism of this clock is in fact cell autonomous and conserved in nearly all cells of the body. Thus, the SCN serves in part as a “master clock,” synchronizing “slave” clocks in peripheral tissues, and in part directly orchestrates circadian physiology. In this chapter, we first consider the detailed mechanism of peripheral clocks as compared to clocks in the SCN and how mechanistic differences facilitate their functions. Next, we discuss the different mechanisms by which peripheral tissues can be entrained to the SCN and to the environment. Finally, we look directly at how peripheral oscillators control circadian physiology in cells and tissues.
KeywordsFeeding Fibroblast HPA axis Temperature
S. A. B. is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Cancer League, and the Velux Foundation and receives additional support from the Zurich Neurozentrum (ZNZ) and Molecular Life Sciences Program (MLS). A. A. receives support from the Velux Foundation and the ZNZ. Thanks to Robert Dallmann for critical reading of the manuscript.
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