Circadian clock gene Per2 is not necessary for the photoperiodic response in mice.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23505514

Ikegami K, Iigo M, Yoshimura T. Circadian clock gene Per2 is not necessary for the photoperiodic response in mice. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58482.
In mammals, light information received by the eyes is transmitted to the pineal gland via the circadian pacemaker, i.e., the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Melatonin secreted by the pineal gland at night decodes night length and regulates seasonal physiology and behavior. Melatonin regulates the expression of the ß-subunit of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH; Tshb) in the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland. Long day-induced PT TSH acts on ependymal cells in the mediobasal hypothalamus to induce the expression of type 2 deiodinase (Dio2) and reduce type 3 deiodinase (Dio3) that are thyroid hormone-activating and hormone-inactivating enzymes, respectively. The long day-activated thyroid hormone T3 regulates seasonal gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion. It is well established that the circadian clock is involved in the regulation of photoperiodism. However, the involvement of the circadian clock gene in photoperiodism regulation remains unclear. Although mice are generally considered non-seasonal animals, it was recently demonstrated that mice are a good model for the study of photoperiodism. In the present study, therefore, we examined the effect of changing day length in Per2 deletion mutant mice that show shorter wheel-running rhythms under constant darkness followed by arhythmicity. Although the amplitude of clock gene (Per1, Cry1) expression was greatly attenuated in the SCN, the expression profile of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, a rate-limiting melatonin synthesis enzyme, was unaffected in the pineal gland, and robust photoperiodic responses of the Tshb, Dio2, and Dio3 genes were observed. These results suggested that the Per2 clock gene is not necessary for the photoperiodic response in mice.