Although altered homeostatic regulation, including disturbance of 24-h rhythms, is often observed in the patients undergoing glucocorticoid therapy, the mechanisms underlying the disturbance remains poorly understood. We report here that chronic treatment with a synthetic glucocorticoid, prednisolone (PSL), can cause alteration of circadian clock function at molecular level. Treatment of cultured hepatic cells (HepG2) with PSL induced expression of Period1 (Per1), and the PSL treatment also attenuated the serum-induced oscillations in the expression of Period2 (Per2), Rev-erbα, and Bmal1 mRNA in HepG2 cells. Because the attenuation of clock gene oscillations was blocked by pretreating the cells with a Per1 antisense phosphothioate oligodeoxynucleotide, the extensive expression of Per1 induced by PSL may have resulted in the reduced amplitude of other clock gene oscillations. Continuous administration of PSL into mice constitutively increased the Per1 mRNA levels in liver and skeletal muscle, which seems to attenuate the oscillation in the expressions of Per2, Rev-erbα, and Bmal1. However, a single daily administration of PSL at the time of day corresponding to acrophase of endogenous glucocorticoid levels had little effect on the rhythmic expression of clock genes. These results suggest a possible pharmacological action by PSL on the core circadian oscillation mechanism and indicate the possibility that the alteration of clock function induced by PSL can be avoided by optimizing the dosing schedule.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology