The circadian clock in mammals regulates the sleep/wake cycle and many associated behavioral and physiological processes. The cellular clock mechanism involves a transcriptional negative feedback loop that gives rise to circadian rhythms in gene expression with an approximately 24hour periodicity. To maintain system robustness, clocks throughout the body must be synchronized and their functions coordinated. In mammals, the master clock is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. The SCN is entrained to the light/dark cycle through photic signal transduction and subsequent induction of core clock gene expression. The SCN in turn relays the timeofday information to clocks in peripheral tissues. While the SCN is highly responsive to photic cues, peripheral clocks are more sensitive to nonphotic resetting cues such as nutrients, body temperature, and neuroendocrine hormones. For example, feeding/fasting and physical activity can entrain peripheral clocks through signaling pathways and subsequent regulation of core clock genes and proteins. As such, timing of food intake and physical activity matters. In an ideal world, the sleep/wake and feeding/fasting cycles are synchronized to the light/dark cycle. However, asynchronous environmental cues, such as those experienced by shift workers and frequent travelers, often lead to misalignment between the master and peripheral clocks.more »
What is phase in cellular clocks
Four interrelated measures of phase are described to study the phase synchronization of cellular oscillators, and computation of these measures is described and illustrated on single cell fluorescence data from the model filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa. One of these four measures is the phase shift ϕ in a sinusoid of the form x(t) = A(cos(ωt + ϕ), where t is time. The other measures arise by creating a replica of the periodic process x(t) called the Hilbert transform x̃(t), which is 90 degrees out of phase with the original
process x(t). The second phase measure is the phase angle FH(t) between the replica x̃(t) and X(t), taking values between π and π. At extreme values the Hilbert Phase is discontinuous, and a continuous form FC(t) of the Hilbert Phase is used, measuring time on the nonnegative real axis (t). The continuous Hilbert Phase FC(t) is used to define the phase MC(t1,t0) for an experiment beginning at time t0 and ending at time t1. In
that phase differences at time t0 are often of ancillary interest, the Hilbert Phase FC(t0) is subtracted from FC(t1). This difference is divided by 2π to obtain the phase MC(t1,t0) in cycles. Both the Hilbert Phase FC(t) and more »
 Award ID(s):
 1713746
 Publication Date:
 NSFPAR ID:
 10100618
 Journal Name:
 The Yale journal of biology & medicine
 Volume:
 92
 Page Range or eLocationID:
 169178
 ISSN:
 00440086
 Sponsoring Org:
 National Science Foundation
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