Hormones play a major role in regulating behavior and physiology, and their efficacy is often dependent on the temporal pattern in which they are secreted. Significant insights into the mechanisms underlying rhythmic hormone secretion have been gained from transgenic rodent models, suggesting that many of the body's rhythmic functions are regulated by a coordinated network of central and peripheral circadian pacemakers. Some neuroendocrine rhythms are driven by transcriptional-posttranslational feedback circuits comprising 'core clock genes', while others represent a cyclic cascade of neuroendocrine events. This review focuses on recent data from the rhesus macaque, a non-human primate model with high clinical translation potential. With primary emphasis on adrenal and gonadal steroids, it illustrates the rhythmic nature of hormone secretion, and discusses the impact that fluctuating hormone levels have on the accuracy of clinical diagnoses and on the design of effective hormone replacement therapies in the elderly. In addition, this minireview raises awareness of the rhythmic expression patterns shown by many genes, and discusses how this could impact interpretation of data obtained from gene profiling studies, especially from nocturnal rodents.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
- Luteinizing hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience