Light-dependent changes in the chick pineal temperature and the expression of cHsp90α gene: A potential contribution of in vivo temperature change to the photic-entrainment of the chick pineal circadian clock

Masao Doi, Yoshito Nakajima, Toshiyuki Okano, Yoshitaka Fukada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The circadian clock is entrained to the diurnal alteration of environmental conditions such as light and temperature, but the molecular mechanism underlying the entrainment is not fully understood. In the present study, we employed a differential display-based screening for a set of genes that are induced by light in the chick pineal gland, a structure of the central clock entrainable to both light and temperature changes. We found that the level of the mRNA encoding chicken heat shock protein 90 α (cHSP90α) was rapidly elevated in the pineal gland within a 5-min exposure of chicks to light. Furthermore, the pineal cHsp90α mRNA was expressed rhythmically under both 12-hr light/12-hr dark (LD) cycles and constant dark (DD) conditions. The total amount of the pineal cHSP90α protein was, however, kept at nearly constant levels under LD cycles, and immunohistochemical analyses of the pineal cHSP90α showed invariable localization at the cytoplasm throughout the day. In vivo measurement of the chick pineal temperature demonstrated its light-dependent and time-of-day-dependent change, and the profile was very similar to that of the pineal cHsp90α mRNA level. These observations suggest that the in vivo temperature change regulates the expression of temperature-responsive genes including cHsp90α in the pineal gland. The temperature change may induce a phase-shift of the pineal clock, thereby facilitating its efficient entrainment to environmental LD cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalZoological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jun 1



  • Chicken
  • Circadian clock
  • Differential display
  • Hsp90α
  • Pineal gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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