The synchronization of the circadian signals to external or suprachiasmatic nucleus stimulation in the peripheral clocks is essential for maintaining the usual function of human body. However, aging will disrupt the synchronization of peripheral circadian rhythms, thus leading to some age-associated diseases. Up to now, little is known about the modification of the oscillatory rhythms in aged cells. A recent report showed that cell senescence in vascular human smooth muscle cells (HSMCs) altered circadian rhythms by a dysregulation of rhythmic gene expression. Furthermore, this alteration could be reversed by telomerase reconstitution. To test whether telomerase reconstitution can restore disrupted circadian rhythm in other types of senescent cells, we used fibroblasts as cell models to profoundly investigate the relationship between cell senescence and circadian rhythm modulation. We found that the response of rhythmic gene expression to serum stimulation was markedly attenuated in senescent fibroblasts, telomerase-reconstituted fibroblasts reset the circadian oscillation of rhythmic gene expression, and the activation of pERK-CREB and p38-CREB pathways might be involved in the circadian rhythm resetting. These findings suggested that telomerase reconstitution might be a good way to reset synchronization of peripheral circadian rhythms disrupted in senescent tissues.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30570902 to Zhengrong Wang, Nos. 30570623 and 30770748 to Dezhi Mu) and Doctoral Program of Ministry of Education of China (No. 20050610094 to Yi Qu and No. 20070610092 to Dezhi Mu).
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