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J Circadian Rhythms. 2010 Apr 19;8:4. doi: 10.1186/1740-3391-8-4.

"Time sweet time": circadian characterization of galectin-1 null mice.

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1
Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes/CONICET, Argentina. dgolombek@unq.edu.ar.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent evidence suggests a two-way interaction between the immune and circadian systems. Circadian control of immune factors, as well as the effect of immunological variables on circadian rhythms, might be key elements in both physiological and pathological responses to the environment. Among these relevant factors, galectin-1 is a member of a family of evolutionarily-conserved glycan-binding proteins with both extracellular and intracellular effects, playing important roles in immune cell processes and inflammatory responses. Many of these actions have been studied through the use of mice with a null mutation in the galectin-1 (Lgals1) gene. To further analyze the role of endogenous galectin-1 in vivo, we aimed to characterize the circadian behavior of galectin-1 null (Lgals1-/-) mice.

METHODS:

We analyzed wheel-running activity in light-dark conditions, constant darkness, phase responses to light pulses (LP) at circadian time 15, and reentrainment to 6 hour shifts in light-dark schedule in wild-type (WT) and Lgals1-/- mice.

RESULTS:

We found significant differences in free-running period, which was longer in mutant than in WT mice (24.02 vs 23.57 h, p < 0.005), phase delays in response to LP (2.92 vs 1.90 circadian h, p < 0.05), and also in alpha (14.88 vs. 12.35 circadian h, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Given the effect of a null mutation on circadian period and entrainment, we indicate that galectin-1 could be involved in the regulation of murine circadian rhythmicity. This is the first study implicating galectin-1 in the mammalian circadian system.

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