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    Home > Biochemistry News > Biotechnology News > Luo Donggen's team in the School of Life Sciences has discovered a new type of electrical signal that maintains a circadian rhythm

    Luo Donggen's team in the School of Life Sciences has discovered a new type of electrical signal that maintains a circadian rhythm

    • Last Update: 2022-09-21
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    On September 2, 2022, a team of researchers from the School of Life Sciences of Peking University, the McGovern Brain Institute, the Center for Quantitative Biology, and the Joint Center for Life Sciences published the research paper "An extra-clock ultradian brain oscillator sustains circadian timekeeping" at Science Advances, reporting a new type of electrical signaling and its neural mechanisms that maintain circadian rhythms

    Circadian rhythms are coordinated and controlled by the brain's main biological clock, and its core is the molecular rhythm with a negative feedback cycle of 24 hours between the biological clock genes and their proteins (won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine).

    For a long time, it was generally believed that the main biological clock itself was sufficient to maintain the circadian rhythm (1, 2
    The new findings of Luo Donggen's team break through this traditional theory

    For the first time, Luo Donggen's team developed a method that can record the fine electrical activity of all Drosophila clock neurons (3), and in this study, the team further developed the four-electrode patch clamp recording technique for Drosophila brain clock neurons (4), which observed that clock neurons produce synchronized rhythmic action potential releases across the brain, and found that this synchronous release was entirely dependent on synaptic input
    outside the main biological clock 。 Through a large-scale screening of tens of thousands of Fruit Fly strains, it was found that the rhythmic electrical activity came from a small group of spontaneously oscillating neurons
    , which was named xCEO (extra-Clock Electrical Oscillator).
    After the neural activity of xCEO is silenced by genetic methods, the circadian electrical activity output of the clock neuron completely disappears, and the behavioral rhythm of drosophila also disappears; After the xCEO's neural activity is restored, the rhythm of behavior is restored
    Thus, the work reveals that the brain's main clock itself is not sufficient to maintain circadian rhythm, but to determine the circadian electrical activity output
    by integrating the endogenous brain oscillation input of xCEOs and the membrane potential changes regulated by its own molecular clock.
    Studies suggest that endogenous brain oscillation signals maintain circadian rhythms may be the core mechanism
    of the circadian clock that is conserved in both insects and mammals.

    The study identified the first group of oscillator neurons within the drosophila brain and revealed their neural mechanisms in maintaining circadian rhythms (Figure 1
    The study breaks through the traditional theoretical framework, updates the understanding of biological rhythms in the field, and also provides a new way to study the production and function of brain oscillation nerve signals

    Figure 1: XCEOs maintain circadian rhythms

    Luo Donggen is the corresponding author of this article; Dr.
    Tang Min (PTN), Professor Cao Lihui (Capital Medical University), and Yang Tian (PhD student of the 2018 Academy of Biological Sciences) are the co-first authors of the article; Ma Sixing (PhD student of the 2020 Academy of Biological Sciences), Dr.
    Jing Biyang, Dr.
    Xiao Na, Xu Shuang (PhD student of the 2020 Academy of Biological Sciences), Leng Kangrui (PhD student of the 2021 Academy of Biological Sciences), former laboratory members Dr.
    Li Mengtong (Columbia University) and Dr.
    Yang Dong (Scripps Institute) made important contributions
    to this paper.
    The research was supported
    by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology Science and Technology Innovation 2030 (Brain Program), the State Key Laboratory of Membrane Biology, the Joint Center for Life Sciences and the Beijing Institute of Brain Sciences.


    Hastings, E.
    Maywood, M.
    Brancaccio, Generation of circadian rhythms in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.
    Nat Rev Neurosci 19, 453-469 (2018).

    Patke, M.
    Young, S.
    Axelrod, Molecular mechanisms and physiological importance of circadian rhythms.
    Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 21, 67-84 (2020).

    Li, L.
    Cao, N.
    Xiao, M.
    Tang, B.
    Deng, T.
    Yang, T.
    Yoshii, D.
    Luo, Hub-organized parallel circuits of central circadian pacemaker neurons for visual photoentrainment in Drosophila.
    Nat Commun 9, (2018).

    Tang, L.
    Cao, T.
    Yang, S.
    Ma, B.
    Jing, N.
    Xiao, S.
    Xu, K.
    Leng, D.
    Yang, M.
    Li, and D.
    Luo, An extra-clock ultradian brain oscillator sustains circadian timekeeping.
    8, eabo5506 (2022).

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