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Hunger and cold drive mice out into daylight

15 October 2014

Researchers of the Chronobiology department, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, have demonstrated that mice shift their activity from night-time to daytime when suffering from hunger and/or cold, i.e. when they are metabolically challenged. This has resulted in a publication in the scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA).

Both cold and hunger cause mice to shift their circadian (daily) activity pattern and internal organ clocks to daytime in order to save energy. According to the researchers, these results could be important for people because they provide an evolutionary explanation for the increased risk of overweight in people who do shift work.

For more information: Vincent van der Vinne , Chronobiology unit, Centre for Behaviour and Neurosciences.

Van der Vinne V, Riede SJ, Gorter JA, Eijer WE, Sellix MT, Menaker M, Daan S, Pilorz V, Hut RA (2014) Cold and hunger induce diurnality in a nocturnal mammal .
Proceedings of the National Academy USAdoi:10.1073/pnas.1413135111

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