The embryonic pineal gland of the chicken as a model for experimental jet lag

Siri Kommedal, Valér Csernus, András D. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The circadian clock in the chicken pineal model develops before hatching, at around the 17th embryonic day (ED17). By this stage, it runs in synchrony with environmental cues. To address if phase resetting mechanisms are comparable to those of post-hatched chicken, we investigated ED19 stage chicken embryos under 12. h light:12. h dark (LD), under constant darkness (DD), or under acute 4. h phase delay of the LD condition (LD. +. 4). The 24. h mRNA-expression patterns of clock gene clock and of clock controlled genes Aanat and hiomt were analyzed with qRT-PCR. Under DD the rhythm of Aanat did not change significantly, however the 24. h pattern of hiomt was altered. Clock shows a delayed response to DD with a phase-shift in its rhythm. After the first cycle under LD. +. 4 conditions, the 24. h patterns of Aa-nat and hiomt mRNA-s were phase delayed. Clock showed both acute and delayed changes in response to LD. +. 4. These results show that the embryonic chicken pineal gland has a fully functioning clock mechanism, and that it is a good model for phase-change experiments. In addition it demonstrates that only one cycle of altered light schedule is sufficient to trigger changes within the molecular clock mechanisms of the chicken embryonic pineal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Aanat
  • Chicken
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Clock
  • Embryo
  • Hiomt
  • Phase-delay
  • Pineal gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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