- The hormonal Zeitgeber melatonin: role as a circadian modulator in memory processing (2012)
- The neuroendocrine substance melatonin is a hormone synthesized rhythmically by the pineal gland under the influence of the circadian system and alternating light/dark cycles. Melatonin has been shown to have broad applications, and consequently becoming a molecule of great controversy. Undoubtedly, however, melatonin plays an important role as a time cue for the endogenous circadian system. This review focuses on melatonin as a regulator in the circadian modulation of memory processing. Memory processes (acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval) are modulated by the circadian system. However, the mechanism by which the biological clock is rhythmically influencing cognitive processes remains unknown. We also discuss, how the circadian system by generating cycling melatonin levels can implant information about daytime into memory processing, depicted as day and nighttime differences in acquisition, memory consolidation and/or retrieval.
- The clock genes Period 2 and Cryptochrome 2 differentially balance bone formation (2010)
- Background: Clock genes and their protein products regulate circadian rhythms in mammals but have also been implicated in various physiological processes, including bone formation. Osteoblasts build new mineralized bone whereas osteoclasts degrade it thereby balancing bone formation. To evaluate the contribution of clock components in this process, we investigated mice mutant in clock genes for a bone volume phenotype. Methodology/Principal Findings: We found that Per2Brdm1 mutant mice as well as mice lacking Cry2-/- displayed significantly increased bone volume at 12 weeks of age, when bone turnover is high. Per2Brdm1 mutant mice showed alterations in parameters specific for osteoblasts whereas mice lacking Cry2-/- displayed changes in osteoclast specific parameters. Interestingly, inactivation of both Per2 and Cry2 genes leads to normal bone volume as observed in wild type animals. Importantly, osteoclast parameters affected due to the lack of Cry2, remained at the level seen in the Cry2-/- mutants despite the simultaneous inactivation of Per2. Conclusions/Significance: This indicates that Cry2 and Per2 affect distinct pathways in the regulation of bone volume with Cry2 influencing mostly the osteoclastic cellular component of bone and Per2 acting on osteoblast parameters.
- The Detection of Surfactant Proteins A, B, C and D in the Human Brain and Their Regulation in Cerebral Infarction, Autoimmune Conditions and Infections of the CNS (2013)
- Surfactant proteins (SP) have been studied intensively in the respiratory system. Surfactant protein A and surfactant protein D are proteins belonging to the family of collectins each playing a major role in the innate immune system. The ability of surfactant protein A and surfactant protein D to bind various pathogens and facilitate their elimination has been described in a vast number of studies. Surfactant proteins are very important in modulating the host's inflammatory response and participate in the clearance of apoptotic cells. Surfactant protein B and surfactant protein C are proteins responsible for lowering the surface tension in the lungs. The aim of this study was an investigation of expression of surfactant proteins in the central nervous system to assess their specific distribution patterns. The second aim was to quantify surfactant proteins in cerebrospinal fluid of healthy subjects compared to patients suffering from different neuropathologies. The expression of mRNA for the surfactant proteins was analyzed with RT-PCR done with samples from different parts of the human brain. The production of the surfactant proteins in the brain was verified using immunohistochemistry and Western blot. The concentrations of the surfactant proteins in cerebrospinal fluid from healthy subjects and patients suffering from neuropathologic conditions were quantified using ELISA. Our results revealed that surfactant proteins are present in the central nervous system and that the concentrations of one or more surfactant proteins in healthy subjects differed significantly from those of patients affected by central autoimmune processes, CNS infections or cerebral infarction. Based on the localization of the surfactant proteins in the brain, their different levels in normal versus pathologic samples of cerebrospinal fluid and their well-known functions in the lungs, it appears that the surfactant proteins may play roles in host defense of the brain, facilitation of cerebrospinal fluid secretion and maintenance of the latter's rheological properties.