A new phase model of the spatiotemporal relationships between three circadian oscillators in the brainstem

Jake Ahern, Lukasz A Chrobok, Alan R Champneys, Hugh D Piggins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Analysis of ex vivo Per2 bioluminescent rhythm previously recorded in the mouse dorsal vagal complex reveals a characteristic phase relationship between three distinct circadian oscillators. These signals represent core clock gene expression in the area postrema (AP), the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and the ependymal cells surrounding the 4th ventricle (4Vep). Initially, the data suggests a consistent phasing in which the AP peaks first, followed shortly by the NTS, with the 4Vep peaking 8–9 h later. Wavelet analysis reveals that this pattern is not consistently maintained throughout a recording, however, the phase dynamics strongly imply that oscillator interactions are present. A simple phase model of the three oscillators is developed and it suggests that realistic phase dynamics occur between three model oscillators with coupling close to a synchronisation transition. The coupling topology suggests that the AP bidirectionally communicates phase information to the NTS and the 4Vep to synchronise the three structures. A comparison of the model with previous experimental manipulations demonstrates its feasibility to explain DVC circadian phasing. Finally, we show that simulating steadily decaying coupling improves the model’s ability to capture experimental phase dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5480
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a doctoral studentship to J.A. (Wellcome Trust Neural Dynamics 108899/B/15/Z), a sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral fellowship (224116/Z/21/Z) to L.C. and by project grant funding to H.D.P. from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK (BB/M02329X/1 and BB/R019223/1). The authors have no competing financial or non-financial interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Mathematics Research Group


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