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FASEB J. 2012 Sep;26(9):3602-13. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-203554. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Advances in understanding the peripheral circadian clocks.

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Department of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.


In the past decade, it has become increasingly evident that the circadian clock system plays an important role in many physiological processes. The circadian clock can be divided into 2 parts: the central clock, residing in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, which receives light cues, and the peripheral clocks that reside in various tissues throughout the body. The peripheral clocks play an integral and unique role in each of their respective tissues, driving the circadian expression of specific genes involved in a variety of physiological functions. The goal of this review is to provide an introduction to and overview of the peripheral clocks, including potential mechanisms, targets, and implications for disease states. The peripheral clocks include the cardiovascular, metabolic, endocrine, immune, and reproductive systems.

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