PDF as a Coupling Mediator Between the Light-Entrainable and Temperature-Entrainable Clocks in Drosophila melanogaster
Drosophila shows bimodal circadian locomotor rhythms with peaks around light-on (morning peak) and before light-off (evening peak). The rhythm synchronizes to light and temperature cycles and the synchronization is achieved by two sets of clocks: one entrains to light cycles and the other to temperature cycles. The light-entrainable clock consists of the clock neurons located in the lateral protocerebrum (LNs) and the temperature-entrainable clock involves those located in the dorsal protocerebrum (DNs) and the cells located in the posterior lateral protocerebrum (LPNs). To understand the interaction between the light-entrainable and the temperature-entrainable clock neurons, locomotor rhythms of the mutant flies lacking PDF or PDF-positive clock neurons were examined. Under the light cycles, they showed altered phase of the evening peak. When exposed to temperature cycles of lower temperature levels, the onset of evening peak showed larger advance in contrast to those of wild-type flies. The termination of the peak also advanced while that of wild-type flies remained almost at the same phase as in the constant temperature. These results support our hypothesis that the PDF-positive light entrainable cells regulate the phase of the temperature entrainable cells to be synchronized to their own phase using PDF as a coupling mediator.
KeywordsCircadian rhythms clock neurons PDF Drosophila
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