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Open AccessArticle

Feeding Entrainment of the Zebrafish Circadian Clock Is Regulated by the Glucocorticoid Receptor

1
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
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Department of Biology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
3
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111342
Received: 27 September 2019 / Revised: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 24 October 2019 / Published: 29 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functions of Nuclear Receptors)
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are steroid hormones mainly acting as key regulators of body homeostasis and stress responses. Their activities are primarily based on the binding to the GC receptor (GR), a member of the nuclear receptor family, that regulates tissue-specific sets of genes. GCs secretion follows a circadian rhythmicity with a peak linked to the animal’s activity phase. In mammals, GCs are also implicated in feeding entrainment mechanisms as internal zeitgeber. Here, we investigated, by means of behavioural and molecular approaches, the circadian clock and its regulation by light and food in wild-type (WT) and null glucocorticoid receptor (gr−/−) zebrafish larvae, juveniles and adults. In both WT and gr−/− larvae and adults, behavioural activity and clock gene expression were entrained to the light–dark (LD) cycle and rhythmic in constant conditions. Differences in the pattern of clock genes’ expression indicated a modulatory role of GCs. A significant role of Gr was detected in the feeding entrainment which was absent or markedly dampened in mutants. Furthermore, the expression of two clock-regulated genes involved in glucidic and lipidic metabolism was altered, highlighting the participation of GCs in metabolic processes also in fish. Taken together, our results confirmed the role of GC-mediated Gr signaling in the feeding entrainment in a non-mammalian species, the zebrafish. View Full-Text
Keywords: glucocorticoid receptors; zebrafish; circadian clock; clock gene; entrainment; feeding; metabolism; Danio rerio glucocorticoid receptors; zebrafish; circadian clock; clock gene; entrainment; feeding; metabolism; Danio rerio
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Morbiato, E.; Frigato, E.; Dinarello, A.; Maradonna, F.; Facchinello, N.; Argenton, F.; Carnevali, O.; Dalla Valle, L.; Bertolucci, C. Feeding Entrainment of the Zebrafish Circadian Clock Is Regulated by the Glucocorticoid Receptor. Cells 2019, 8, 1342.

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