Investigation of Circadian Clock in Peripheral Tissues and Immune-Circadian Interaction in the Domestic Fowl, Gallus Domesticus
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The circadian system provides living organisms a means to adapt their internal physiology to constantly changing environmental conditions that exists on our rotating planet, Earth. Clocks in peripheral tissues are referred to as peripheral which may participate in tissue-specific functions. The first step to investigating the circadian regulation in the peripheral tissues of avians was to examine for the presence of avian orthologs of core components of the molecular clock using Quantitative real time (qRTPCR) assays. We investigated the avian spleen for daily and circadian control of core clock genes and regulation of the inflammatory response by the spleen clock. The core clock genes, bmal1, bmal2, per2, per3 and clock displayed both daily and circadian rhythms. Proinflammatory cytokines TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-18 exhibited daily and circadian rhythmic oscillations. A differential expression of proinflammatory cytokine induction was observed in the spleen undergoing lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute inflammation. Exogenous melatonin administration during inflammation seems to enhance some and repress a few inflammatory cytokines, implying that melatonin is pleiotropic molecule. To compare and contrast the role of peripheral clocks in regulating energy balance and reproduction in layer vs. broiler chicken, the visceral adipose tissue (VAT), ovary and hypothalamus were examined for the presence of core clock genes were investigated in these two lines of poultry birds. Quantitative RT-PCR was employed to examine daily control of core clock genes in these three peripheral tissues over a 24hr period. The layer hens exhibit rhythmic oscillations in the mRNA abundance of the core clock genes in the VAT, ovary and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus and VAT of the broiler hens exhibit rhythmic mRNA abundance of the core clock genes. However, the clock genes in the ovary of the broiler pullets exhibit marked reduction in their amplitude and rhythms over a 24hr period. The broiler hens are prone to poor energy balance, obesity and reproductive capacity. In summary, these data provide evidence for a functional link between the circadian clock and the ovary by determining clock gene regulation under conditions of disrupted or eliminated reproductive function vs. normal reproductive output.
Kallur, Sailaja (2012). Investigation of Circadian Clock in Peripheral Tissues and Immune-Circadian Interaction in the Domestic Fowl, Gallus Domesticus. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from