One versus several biological clocks in primates Experiments in rodents yielded a widely accepted model for the control of biological rhythms. According to this model, the SCN functions as a master (central) clock from which slave (peripheral) clocks, or subordinate structures, receive their rhythm characteristics
such as the circadian τ, A, and Φ.13, 18, 21, 22, 54 According to Moore and Silver22: “… all of the available data support the view that the SCN is the circadian pacemaker responsible for providing a temporal organization of behavioral, physiological, and endocrine functions. As pacemaker, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical the SCN sets the phase of oscillators of many physiological and endocrine rhythms in the body.” Transplantation
of SCN in hamster τ mutants was associated with a rhythm of activity with the same τ as the donor rather than the host.55 Genetic and molecular Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical studies in rodents support this model. 18, 22, 56, 57 Is this model valid for other mammalian species? In longitudinal studies, Jouvet et al42 assessed hourly the distribution of PS in cats kept in isolation chambers under continuous light (L:L). Under these conditions, a robust circadian rhythm of PS was detected in all normal cats, and in 4 out of 6 pontine cats (where all neural structures Selleckchem PI3K Inhibitor Library rostral to the pons were removed), as well as in cats without SCN or without Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical hypothalamus. This result is evidence for the presence of a multioscillatory circadian system in this species. The squirrel monkey, a primate, has a prominent and stable body temperature circadian rhythm.13 After total bilateral SCN lesions, feeding and drinking behaviors
lose their circadian rhythms, but the rhythm in body temperature was found to persist when studied over 1 year postlcsion.13 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Presumably, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical in primates, there are other biological clocks outside the SCN, which are responsible for generating a rhythm for temperature, and other variables, such as Cortisol rhythms in the rhesus monkey.58 There is no doubt that the SCN plays an important role because it is the only anatomical structure in which a circadian pacemaker Thiamine-diphosphate kinase has been identified and it is reset by photic triggers. However, it seems that in cats and primates (and presumably in many other species), other major pacemakers are present. Desynchronization of human circadian rhythms Aschoff and Wever recorded rhythms in human subjects individually isolated from known zeitgebers in long-term (>3 weeks) longitudinal experiments.48, 59 They observed that, after a fortnight, 28% of women and 23% of men, exhibited τ =25 h for body temperature rhythm and τ=13 to 36 h for sleep/wake rhythm. Thus, the phase relation between rhythms was distorted compared with the structure of the normal temporal order in the isolated state. On this basis, it was suggested that the two documented rhythms were driven by different biological clocks, a phenomenon called internal desynchronization.