Genes Dev.: co-auth.: group Franken

Genes Dev. 2021 Feb 18. doi: 10.1101/gad.346460.120. Online ahead of print.

Circadian hepatocyte clocks keep synchrony in the absence of a master pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus or other extrahepatic clocks

Flore Sinturel # 1 2 3 4Pascal Gos # 5Volodymyr Petrenko 1 2 3 4Claudia Hagedorn 6Florian Kreppel 6Kai-Florian Storch 7Darko Knutti 7Andre Liani 5Charles Weitz 7Yann Emmenegger 8Paul Franken 8Luigi Bonacina 9Charna Dibner 1 2 3 4Ueli Schibler 5


It has been assumed that the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) synchronizes peripheral circadian oscillators. However, this has never been convincingly shown, since biochemical time series experiments are not feasible in behaviorally arrhythmic animals. By using long-term bioluminescence recording in freely moving mice, we show that the SCN is indeed required for maintaining synchrony between organs. Surprisingly, however, circadian oscillations persist in the livers of mice devoid of an SCN or oscillators in cells other than hepatocytes. Hence, similar to SCN neurons, hepatocytes can maintain phase coherence in the absence of Zeitgeber signals produced by other organs or environmental cycles.

Keywords: circadian gene expression; in vivo bioluminescence recording; liver; suprachiasmatic nucleus.