Thematic Issue

Biological Rhythms 2019

December 16, 2019

an Endocrine Society Thematic Issue

Just in time for the holidays, read our special collection of journal articles, published in 2018-2019, focused on biological rhythms! Curation of the collection was guided by Altmetric Attention Scores and Featured Article designations.

Recent years have seen a huge increase in the research focus on rhythms typically driven by interlinked biological clocks and influencing a plethora of endocrine processes. As their disruption is linked to metabolic disease, increased understanding of their roles holds promise for treatments.

An article in Endocrinology by Nathan Skinner and others shows that mice exposed to a chronically shifting light environment have a decrease in central leptin signaling and an increase in fasting blood glucose levels not accompanied by an increase in insulin levels, which may be linked to their weight gain. Su Young Han and colleagues describe a powerful technique, GCaMP6 fiber photometry technology, for making long-term recordings of the activity of specific populations of neurons in freely behaving mice and use it to support the role of arcuate nucleus kisspeptin neurons as the GnRH pulse generator.

Karen Tonsfeldt and co-workers show in Journal of the Endocrine Society that the disruption of fertility in mice lacking the important clock gene Bmal1 is unexpectedly not the result of a lack of endogenous clocks in kisspeptin or GnRH neurons. William Engeland and associates, writing in Endocrinology, show, in contrast, that Bmal1 is needed in the adrenals for persistence of circadian corticosterone rhythms under light disruption.

On the clinical side, the article by Shadab Rahman and others in JCEM demonstrates that female reproductive hormones are under endogenous circadian regulation: 24-hour rhythms persist in the absence of external time cues. Stacey Simon and colleagues find that adolescent girls with PCOS have substantial circadian misalignment, with later melatonin offset compared to obese controls, and this correlates with worse insulin sensitivity. Sleep deprivation in healthy men caused by perturbation of 24-hour rhythms “dramatically blunted morning-to-evening” white adipose tissue transcriptome variations, according to the findings of Britta Wilms et al.

Froy and Garaulet provide a fine review of the role of the circadian clock in adipose tissue in Endocrine Reviews, where Pureum Kim et al. also review the role of the core clockwork gene Period1 and its analogues, which are functionally closely linked to Bmal1. In the same journal, Cipolla-Neto and do Amaral discuss the far-reaching importance of melatonin, a “biological time-domain-acting” molecule that primes the body for not only the daily light/dark cycle but also the cycle of the seasons, soon to turn at this writing. In a fascinating mini-review of the “Musica Universalis” of the cell in Journal of the Endocrine Society, Bokai Zhu and his colleagues discuss the prevalence and history of biological 12-hour rhythms and other harmonics of the circadian rhythm. They suggest that 12-hour rhythms may have originated from the circatidal clock and so derive not from the sun, but from the moon. Happy holiday reading!

View this collection

Published: December 2019


About Endocrine Society Thematic Issues

It can be difficult to keep up to date in the rapidly evolving and expanding world of endocrine science. We curate topical collections of research from across our journals, Endocrine Reviews, Endocrinology, Journal of the Endocrine Society, and The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, so that you can easily find and read recent, influential articles on the topics that interest you.

Selection in each Thematic Issue is guided by online metrics, including Altmetric Attention Scores, Featured Article designations, and identification of leading authors and key topics. Each month, we publish a new Thematic Issue online and work to highlight and promote endocrine science in the press, through email, on social media and across other distribution channels.

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Read our special thematic collections of journal articles! Curation of the collections is guided by Featured Article designation and Altmetric Attention Score.

Read our special thematic collections of journal articles! Curation of the collections is guided by Featured Article designation and Altmetric Attention Score.

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