Cellular circadian clocks direct a daily transcriptional program that supports homeostasis and resilience. Emerging evidence has demonstrated age-associated changes in circadian functions. To define age-dependent changes at the systems level, we profile the circadian transcriptome in the hypothalamus, lung, heart, kidney, skeletal muscle, and adrenal gland in three age groups. We find age-dependent and tissue-specific clock output changes. Aging reduces the number of rhythmically expressed genes (REGs), indicative of weakened circadian control. REGs are enriched for the hallmarks of aging, adding another dimension to our understanding of aging. Analyzing differential gene expression within a tissue at four different times of day identifies distinct clusters of differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Increased variability of gene expression across the day is a common feature of aged tissues. This analysis extends the landscape for understanding aging and highlights the impact of aging on circadian clock function and temporal changes in gene expression.
Keywords: CP: Developmental biology; CP: Molecular biology; RNA-seq; adrenal gland; aging; circadian clock; heart; hypothalamus; kidney; lung; skeletal muscle.
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