Circadian Profiling of Amino Acids in the SCN and Cerebral Cortex by Laser Capture Microdissection-Mass Spectrometry.

JM Fustin, S Karakawa, H Okamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is an extremely robust self-sustained oscillator, containing virtually the same molecular clock present in other tissues in the body but, in addition, endowed with tight intercellular coupling dependent on multiple neurotransmitter systems that allow the SCN to function as the “master clock.” Several studies on the circadian SCN transcriptome have been published and compared with the transcriptome of other tissues, but the recent focus shift toward the circadian metabolome and the importance of small molecules for circadian timekeeping has so far been limited to macroscopic tissues such as the liver. Here, we report the successful use of laser capture microdissection coupled with liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry for the circadian profiling of SCN amino acids. Among 18 amino acids detected, 10 (55.5%) showed significant variations, particularly marked for proline, lysine, and histidine, with higher levels during the subjective day. Moreover, we compared SCN and cortical amino acid levels between wild-type and Bmal1-deficient animals, either in the whole body or specifically in the liver. Interestingly, lack of Bmal1 in the whole body led to a significant increase in most amino acids in the SCN but not in the cerebral cortex. In contrast, deletion of Bmal1 in the liver mostly affected cortical amino acid levels during the subjective day. This study demonstrates that laser capture microdissection can be used for the isolation of microscopic brain structures for metabolomic purposes and reveals interactions between liver and SCN amino acid metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Rhythms
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Circadian Profiling of Amino Acids in the SCN and Cerebral Cortex by Laser Capture Microdissection-Mass Spectrometry.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this