Clocking salt levels in the blood: A link between the circadian rhythm and salt balance

July 1, 2009

New research, conducted by Charles Wingo and his colleagues, at the University of Florida, Gainsville, suggests a link between the circadian rhythm and control of sodium (salt) levels in mice.

The hormone aldosterone regulates levels of in the blood and thereby helps control . Although it is known that aldosterone regulates sodium levels by controlling expression of the alpha-subunit of the epithelial sodium channel (alpha-ENaC) in the kidney, the molecular pathway by which aldosterone modulates alpha-ENaC levels has not been determined.

In a previous study to address this issue, Wingo and colleagues found that aldosterone induced expression of the gene Per1 in mouse cells, but the effects of this induction were not investigated. In this new study, they have revealed that the protein produced from the Per1 gene (Period 1) regulates expression of alpha-ENaC in the mouse kidney. Importantly, in the absence of Period 1, expression of alpha-ENaC in the mouse kidney was decreased and sodium loss in the urine was increased.

Since expression from the Per1 gene seemed to follow a circadian pattern, the authors suggest that the circadian clock has a role in balancing sodium levels in the body.

More information: www.the-jci.org/article.php?id=36908

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Potassium is critical to circadian rhythms in human red blood cells

December 12, 2017
An innovative new study from the University of Surrey and Cambridge's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, has uncovered the secrets of the circadian rhythms in ...

Estrogen discovery could shed new light on fertility problems

December 12, 2017
Estrogen produced in the brain is necessary for ovulation in monkeys, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who have upended the traditional understanding of the hormonal cascade that leads to release ...

3-D printed microfibers could provide structure for artificially grown body parts

December 12, 2017
Much as a frame provides structural support for a house and the chassis provides strength and shape for a car, a team of Penn State engineers believe they have a way to create the structural framework for growing living tissue ...

Study confirms link between the number of older brothers and increased odds of being homosexual

December 12, 2017
Groundbreaking research led by a team from Brock University has further confirmed that sexual orientation for men is likely determined in the womb.

Time of day affects severity of autoimmune disease

December 12, 2017
Insights into how the body clock and time of day influence immune responses are revealed today in a study published in leading international journal Nature Communications. Understanding the effect of the interplay between ...

Team identifies DNA element that may cause rare movement disorder

December 11, 2017
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers has identified a specific genetic change that may be the cause of a rare but severe neurological disorder called X-linked dystonia parkinsonism (XDP). Occurring only ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.