Special Issue "Circadian Rhythms from Bench to Bedside"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Christian Cajochen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Centre for Chronobiology, Wilhelm-Kleinstr. 27 CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41613255478
Interests: human circadian rhythm and sleep research
Dr. Christina Schmidt
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Cyclotron Research Center, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
Interests: human circadian rhythm and sleep research
Dr. Sarah L. Chellappa
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Cyclotron Research Center, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
Interests: human circadian rhythm and sleep research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Almost all living organisms are skillfully orchestrated by an intrinsic near 24-h (circadian) timing system. Circadian rhythms are genetically encoded and are observed from the behavioral level to the metabolomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, acetylomic and methylomic levels. The main function of this intrinsic timekeeping system is to impose a temporal “architecture” on behavior, physiology and metabolism in the absence of external cues, which in turn allows for temporal segregation of behavioral and physiological processes for an optimally timed interaction with the environment. Circadian rhythms across diverse species are in-sync with the 24-h solar light–dark cycle, the most important recurring stimulus on earth. Ultimately, our entire physiology and behavior can aptly anticipate day and night, and thus allow for an appropriate timing for a wide range of behaviors, such as sleep-wake timing, hormonal expression, performance to tasks, cognitive brain function etc.. If circadian rhythmicity goes out-of-sync a wide array of dysfunctions, such as mood disorders, sleep disturbances, altered cognitive performance, metabolic dysfunctions and cardiovascular problems can occur. Furthermore, the pathophysiology underlying some key neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson diseases are also aggravated by circadian clock dysfunctions. Thus, knowledge on how circadian rhythms operate from microscopical to macroscopical system levels is fundamental to translate possible “optimizations” of these rhythms from bench to beside. In this special editorial, we aim at reporting recent developments in brain and molecular sciences, which emphasize the importance of proper daily circadian oscillation for good health, to promote a healthy life span, and for ameliorating a range of diseases.

Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen
Dr. Christina Schmidt
Dr. Sarah L. Chellappa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biological rhythms
  • sleep-wake regulation
  • molecular clock
  • light-dark cycles
  • entrainment
  • synchronization
  • zeitgeber

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Subjective Mood in Young Unmedicated Depressed Women under High and Low Sleep Pressure Conditions
Biology 2016, 5(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology5040052 - 09 Dec 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Diurnal mood variations are one of the core symptoms in depression, and total sleep deprivation (SD) can induce rapid, short-lasting clinical improvement in depressed patients. Here, we investigated if differential sleep pressure conditions impact on subjective mood levels in young women with major [...] Read more.
Diurnal mood variations are one of the core symptoms in depression, and total sleep deprivation (SD) can induce rapid, short-lasting clinical improvement in depressed patients. Here, we investigated if differential sleep pressure conditions impact on subjective mood levels in young women with major depressive disorder (MDD) without sleep disturbances, and in healthy controls. Eight healthy and eight MDD women underwent 40-h SD (high sleep pressure) and 40-h multiple NAP (low sleep pressure) protocols under constant routine conditions during which subjective mood was assessed every 30-min. MDD women rated overall significantly worse mood than controls, with minimal values for both groups during the biological night (ca. 4 a.m.), under high and low sleep pressure conditions. During SD, nighttime mood ratings in MDD women were lower than in controls and partially recovered during the second day of SD, but never attained control levels. The degree of this diurnal time-course in mood under SD correlated positively with sleep quality in MDD women. Our data indicate that MDD women without sleep disturbances did not exhibit a SD-induced antidepressant response, suggesting that the mood enhancement response to sleep deprivation might be related to the co-existence of sleep disturbances, which is an association that remains to be fully established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Rhythms from Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle
Individual Differences in the Post-Illumination Pupil Response to Blue Light: Assessment without Mydriatics
Biology 2016, 5(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology5030034 - 09 Sep 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells play an important role in the non-image forming effects of light, through their direct projections on brain circuits involved in circadian rhythms, mood and alertness. Individual differences in the functionality of the melanopsin-signaling circuitry can be reliably quantified using [...] Read more.
Melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells play an important role in the non-image forming effects of light, through their direct projections on brain circuits involved in circadian rhythms, mood and alertness. Individual differences in the functionality of the melanopsin-signaling circuitry can be reliably quantified using the maximum post-illumination pupil response (PIPR) after blue light. Previous protocols for acquiring PIPR relied on the use of mydriatics to dilate the light-exposed eye. However, pharmacological pupil dilation is uncomfortable for the participants and requires ophthalmological expertise. Hence, we here investigated whether an individual’s maximum PIPR can be validly obtained in a protocol that does not use mydriatics but rather increases the intensity of the light stimulus. In 18 participants (5 males, mean age ± SD: 34.6 ± 13.6 years) we evaluated the PIPR after exposure to intensified blue light (550 µW/cm2) provided to an undilated dynamic pupil. The test-retest reliability of the primary PIPR outcome parameter was very high, both between day-to-day assessments (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) = 0.85), as well as between winter and summer assessments (ICC = 0.83). Compared to the PIPR obtained with the use of mydriatics and 160 µW/cm2 blue light exposure, the method with intensified light without mydriatics showed almost zero bias according to Bland-Altman plots and had moderate to strong reliability (ICC = 0.67). In conclusion, for PIPR assessments, increasing the light intensity is a feasible and reliable alternative to pupil dilation to relieve the participant’s burden and to allow for performance outside the ophthalmological clinic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Rhythms from Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle
Melatonin and Sleep-Wake Rhythms before and after Ocular Lens Replacement in Elderly Humans
Biology 2016, 5(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology5010012 - 15 Feb 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
Light of short wavelengths has been shown to play a key role in non-image forming responses. Due to aging, the ocular lens becomes more yellow reducing the transmission of short wavelengths in the elderly. In the present study, we make use of cataract [...] Read more.
Light of short wavelengths has been shown to play a key role in non-image forming responses. Due to aging, the ocular lens becomes more yellow reducing the transmission of short wavelengths in the elderly. In the present study, we make use of cataract surgery to investigate the effects of a relative increase of short wavelength transmission on melatonin- and sleep-wake rhythms (N = 14). We observed, on average, a delay of the sleep-wake and the nocturnal melatonin rhythms after cataract surgery. This delay is tentatively attributed to a relatively large increase of light transmittance in the evening hours more than an increase of the already relatively high light intensities found in the daytime. The later phase that we observed after cataract surgery (clear lens) as compared to the earlier phase observed before cataract (yellowish lens) is in agreement with the general later phase reported in the young (clear lens) population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Rhythms from Bench to Bedside)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity
Biology 2016, 5(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology5030031 - 13 Jul 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms [...] Read more.
Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Rhythms from Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessReview
Sleep-Wake Regulation and Its Impact on Working Memory Performance: The Role of Adenosine
Biology 2016, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology5010011 - 05 Feb 2016
Cited by 17
Abstract
The sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a fine-tuned interplay between sleep-homeostatic and circadian mechanisms. Compelling evidence suggests that adenosine plays an important role in mediating the increase of homeostatic sleep pressure during time spent awake and its decrease during sleep. Here, we summarize [...] Read more.
The sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a fine-tuned interplay between sleep-homeostatic and circadian mechanisms. Compelling evidence suggests that adenosine plays an important role in mediating the increase of homeostatic sleep pressure during time spent awake and its decrease during sleep. Here, we summarize evidence that adenosinergic mechanisms regulate not only the dynamic of sleep pressure, but are also implicated in the interaction of homeostatic and circadian processes. We review how this interaction becomes evident at several levels, including electrophysiological data, neuroimaging studies and behavioral observations. Regarding complex human behavior, we particularly focus on sleep-wake regulatory influences on working memory performance and underlying brain activity, with a specific emphasis on the role of adenosine in this interplay. We conclude that a change in adenosinergic mechanisms, whether exogenous or endogenous, does not only impact on sleep-homeostatic processes, but also interferes with the circadian timing system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Rhythms from Bench to Bedside)
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