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Title: Functional network inference of the suprachiasmatic nucleus

In the mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), noisy cellular oscillators communicate within a neuronal network to generate precise system-wide circadian rhythms. Although the intracellular genetic oscillator and intercellular biochemical coupling mechanisms have been examined previously, the network topology driving synchronization of the SCN has not been elucidated. This network has been particularly challenging to probe, due to its oscillatory components and slow coupling timescale. In this work, we investigated the SCN network at a single-cell resolution through a chemically induced desynchronization. We then inferred functional connections in the SCN by applying the maximal information coefficient statistic to bioluminescence reporter data from individual neurons while they resynchronized their circadian cycling. Our results demonstrate that the functional network of circadian cells associated with resynchronization has small-world characteristics, with a node degree distribution that is exponential. We show that hubs of this small-world network are preferentially located in the central SCN, with sparsely connected shells surrounding these cores. Finally, we used two computational models of circadian neurons to validate our predictions of network structure.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 16; Related Information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
National Institutes of Health; U.S. Army Research Office
Country of Publication:
United States
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING systems biology; synchronization; circadian oscillator; biological clock; mathematical model