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Marieke Hoekstra shows the link between circadian rhythms, temperature and regulation of neuroprotective pathway

18.06.2024 14:01

Branco Weiss Fellow Marieke Hoekstra is co-author of a new study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). In their paper, the researchers offer a deeper insight into how a neuroprotective pathway is regulated both by temperature and the body clock.

The body clock is underpinned by specialized genes, called clock genes, which are ultimately responsible for daily fluctuations in physiology and behavior including the sleep-wake cycle. These clock genes are resistant to temperature changes, which allows them to keep accurate daily timing. However, many pathways controlled by clock genes are also sensitive to temperature, and some of them are dysregulated in neurodegenerative disease.

The authors found that an essential clock gene, Bmal1, does not only play an essential role in circadian rhythm generation, but also in sensing and mediating temperature-dependent responses of downstream neuroprotective pathways. Bmal1 thus could serve as a potential target for bolstering the function of our body clock upon neurodegenerative insult.

Read the paper in PNAS

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