The Kidney Clock Contributes to Timekeeping by the Master Circadian Clock

Jihwan Myung*, Mei Yi Wu, Chun Ya Lee, Amalia Ridla Rahim, Vuong Hung Truong, Dean Wu, Hugh David Piggins, Mai Szu Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

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

24 Citations (Scopus)
212 Downloads (Pure)


The kidney harbors one of the strongest circadian clocks in the body. Kidney failure has long been known to cause circadian sleep disturbances. Using an adenine-induced model of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in mice, we probe the possibility that such sleep disturbances originate from aberrant circadian rhythms in kidney. Under the CKD condition, mice developed unstable behavioral circadian rhythms. When observed in isolation in vitro, the pacing of the master clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), remained uncompromised, while the kidney clock became a less robust circadian oscillator with a longer period. We find this analogous to the silencing of a strong slave clock in the brain, the choroid plexus, which alters the pacing of the SCN. We propose that the kidney also contributes to overall circadian timekeeping at the whole-body level, through bottom-up feedback in the hierarchical structure of the mammalian circadian clocks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2765
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2019


  • Circadian clocks
  • CKD
  • Hierarchical organization
  • Kidney
  • SCN
  • Systemic clocks


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