Ultradian Oscillation Networks in Somite Segmentation and Other Biological Events

  • Yasutaka Niwa
  • Hiromi Shimojo
  • Ryoichiro Kageyama
Conference paper

When you observe the surrounding environment, you notice that it is composed of many events that are periodic, although they seem at first glance to be stable. Mesopotamian culture knew that the moon waxes and wanes in a monthly cycle and that the position of the sun changes with a period of a year. Our internal environment, which is kept relatively constant by forces that promote homeostasis, also consists of many cyclic events. We usually wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. When this rhythm is disturbed by jet lag, one feels uncomfortable for a few days. No one doubts that this circadian rhythm is one of the most famous and essential rhythms in our body. By contrast, developmental processes seem to be well organized and programmed in advance. However, from the perspective of a single cell, there is noise in both intracellular and intercellular environments, and there should be some mechanisms for being resistant to such noise.

Recently several groups showed that the expression of several genes is not just constant. Rather, expression oscillates, and does so robustly with a periodicity of less than 24 h. That is an ultradian rhythm, and it occurs in developmental tissues or cultured cells when you observe them not as a whole but at the single-cell level, or if you observe their synchronized behaviors [14,15,20,21,29,31]. Here we would like to review these ultradian rhythms and their biological meaning in a developmental and cellular context such as somitogenesis and neurogenesis in mice and several signaling pathways in cultured cells.


Neural Stem Cell Notch Signaling Neural Progenitor Negative Feedback Loop Ultradian Rhythm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasutaka Niwa
    • 1
  • Hiromi Shimojo
    • 1
  • Ryoichiro Kageyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Japan and Japan Science and Technology,Agency, CREST KyotoJapan

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