Effects of ageing on the fine distribution of the circadian CLOCK protein in reticular formation neurons

Manuela Malatesta, Patrizia Fattoretti, Beatrice Baldelli, Serafina Battistelli, Marta Balietti, Carlo Bertoni-Freddari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many biochemical, physiological and behavioural processes, from bacteria to human, exhibit roughly 24 h cyclic oscillations defined as circadian rhythms. However, during ageing, numerous aspects of the circadian biology undergo alterations; in particular, the sleep pattern changes, with more frequent awakenings and shorter sleep time. The basic mechanism of the circadian clock relies on intracellular molecular pathways involving interlocking transcriptional/translational feedback loops, and CLOCK protein, a transcription factor, is essential for normal circadian rhythms. In this study, the fine distribution of CLOCK protein has been analysed, in adult and old rats, at different phases of the daily cycle in the neurons of the medullary reticular formation, involved in the control of the sleep-wake cycle. The results demonstrate quali-quantitative modifications of CLOCK protein in the neurons of old animals, suggesting that such a deregulation of the intracellular clock mechanism may play some role in the degeneration of the sleep-wake circadian cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Ageing
  • Cell nucleus
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Electron microscopy
  • Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Instrumentation


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