Lifelong orchestration of animal physiology by the circadian clock
To improve their adaptation to the changing environment presents on Earth, organisms from bacteria to mammals have evolved a timing system that anticipates these changes. This endogenous timing system, called the circadian clock, orchestrates most aspects of physiology and behavior. The mammalian circadian clock is hierarchically organized.
A central clock localized in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is daily synchronized by the light via the retina-hypothalamus tract and coordinates the peripheral clocks localized in peripheral tissues. The SCN synchronizes most aspects of circadian physiology throughout the life and is required to keep phase coherence between the different peripheral organs.
While new data shows that this circadian clock is disrupted in many human pathologies and during aging, the impact of this disruption on these conditions is it still unclear.
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Dr Frederic Gachon
Associate Professor – Group Leader at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience
Affiliate Academic at Institute for Social Science Research, Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Affiliate Associate Professor at School of Biomedical Sciences Faculty of Medicine