Evidence suggesting that the cardiomyocyte circadian clock modulates responsiveness of the heart to hypertrophic stimuli in mice

Chronobiol Int. 2011 Apr;28(3):187-203. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2010.550406.


Circadian dyssynchrony of an organism (at the whole-body level) with its environment, either through light-dark (LD) cycle or genetic manipulation of clock genes, augments various cardiometabolic diseases. The cardiomyocyte circadian clock has recently been shown to influence multiple myocardial processes, ranging from transcriptional regulation and energy metabolism to contractile function. The authors, therefore, reasoned that chronic dyssychrony of the cardiomyocyte circadian clock with its environment would precipitate myocardial maladaptation to a circadian challenge (simulated shiftwork; SSW). To test this hypothesis, 2- and 20-month-old wild-type and CCM (Cardiomyocyte Clock Mutant; a model with genetic temporal suspension of the cardiomyocyte circadian clock at the active-to-sleep phase transition) mice were subjected to chronic (16-wks) biweekly 12-h phase shifts in the LD cycle (i.e., SSW). Assessment of adaptation/maladaptation at whole-body homeostatic, gravimetric, humoral, histological, transcriptional, and cardiac contractile function levels revealed essentially identical responses between wild-type and CCM littermates. However, CCM hearts exhibited increased biventricular weight, cardiomyocyte size, and molecular markers of hypertrophy (anf, mcip1), independent of aging and/or SSW. Similarly, a second genetic model of selective temporal suspension of the cardiomyocyte circadian clock (Cardiomyocyte-specific BMAL1 Knockout [CBK] mice) exhibits increased biventricular weight and mcip1 expression. Wild-type mice exhibit 5-fold greater cardiac hypertrophic growth (and 6-fold greater anf mRNA induction) when challenged with the hypertrophic agonist isoproterenol at the active-to-sleep phase transition, relative to isoproterenol administration at the sleep-to-active phase transition. This diurnal variation was absent in CCM mice. Collectively, these data suggest that the cardiomyocyte circadian clock likely influences responsiveness of the heart to hypertrophic stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature
  • CLOCK Proteins / genetics*
  • CLOCK Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cardiomegaly / chemically induced*
  • Cardiomegaly / metabolism
  • Cardiotonic Agents / toxicity
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Isoproterenol / toxicity
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Activity
  • Mutation
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • Isoproterenol