Fine distribution of CLOCK protein in hepatocytes of hibernating dormice


CLOCK protein is a member of the bHLH-PAS family of transcription factors, it is expressed in several tissues including the liver and is essential for normal circadian rhythms. In this study we investigate the distribution of CLOCK protein in hepatocytes of euthermic and hibernating edible dormice Glis glis as well as in hepatocytes taken from the hibernating animals submitted in vitro to experimental conditions mimicking the arousal process. Our results demonstrate that CLOCK protein is expressed in all animals and is mostly located in the nucleus, in particular, on perichromatin fibrils and nucleoli. During deep hibernation CLOCK protein becomes more abundant but an intracellular redistribution occurs: the protein significantly decreases in all cellular compartments, but it accumulates in the amorphous bodies. These nuclear bodies, typical of the hibernating state, probably represent storage sites for CLOCK protein to be quickly used upon arousal. Accordingly, in hepatocytes submitted to in vitro conditions mimicking arousal CLOCK protein levels rapidly reach the euthermic values, while amorphous bodies disappear.



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How to Cite
Malatesta, M., Baldelli, B., Rossi, L., Serafini, S., & Gazzanelli, G. (2009). Fine distribution of CLOCK protein in hepatocytes of hibernating dormice. European Journal of Histochemistry, 47(3), 233-240.