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Effect of melatonin on monochromatic light-induced changes in clock gene circadian expression in the chick liver

Liu, Lei, Wang, Zixu, Cao, Jing, Dong, Yulan, Chen, Yaoxing
Journal of photochemistry and photobiology 2019 v.197 pp. 111537
chicks, circadian rhythm, gene expression, genes, liver, melatonin, pinealectomy, wavelengths
Light is the most prominent zeitgeber of the circadian system, which contains central and peripheral oscillators. Our previous studies found that light wavelength could influence the rhythms of melatonin synthesis and clock gene expression in the central oscillator of chicks. However, the effect of monochromatic light on the peripheral oscillator and the role of melatonin have yet to be clarified. In this study, 216 newly hatched chicks were divided into three groups (intact, sham operation and pinealectomy) and were raised under white (WL), red (RL), green (GL) or blue (BL) light for 14 days. Their plasma and livers were sampled at 6 time points with 4-h intervals. Plasma melatonin concentration and liver clock gene expression (cClock, cBmal1, cBmal2, cCry1, cCry2, cPer2, cPer3) were measured for circadian rhythm analysis. In intact and sham operation chicks under WL, all liver clock genes showed circadian expression along with oscillations in plasma melatonin. However, positive clock genes peaked at subjective night along with melatonin, while negative clock genes peaked at subjective day or the shifting time of day-night. Chick exposure to monochromatic light led to an unaltered circadian rhythmicity in plasma melatonin and liver clock genes; however, their rhythmic parameters were notably influenced. Compared to WL, GL enhanced the mesor and amplitude of melatonin and all kinds of clock genes, whereas RL had the opposite effect. Pinealectomy significantly decreased expression of liver clock genes, which was consistent with the reduction in plasma melatonin concentration, especially for the GL group, and resulted in the expression of liver clock genes showing low-mesor and low-amplitude oscillations as well as no statistically significant differences among the monochromatic light groups. Thus, we speculated that melatonin plays a key role in the effects of light wavelength on clock gene rhythm in the chick liver.