Indexed on: 17 Sep '11Published on: 17 Sep '11Published in: Chronobiology international
Circadian rhythms are endogenously generated cycles involving physiological parameters, such as core body temperature, hormone levels, blood pressure, sleep, and metabolism, with a period length of around 24?h. The circadian clock in mammals is regulated by a set of clock genes that are functionally linked together, and polymorphisms in clock genes could be associated with differences in circadian rhythms. A variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) in the human clock gene PERIOD3 (PER3) has been suggested to correlate with a morning (lark) versus evening (owl) chronotype as well as with the circadian rhythm sleep disorder ?delayed sleep phase disorder? (DSPD). The authors examined 432 healthy Norwegian university students in search of further support for an association between the PER3 polymorphism and diurnal preference. The Horne-?stberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) and Preferences Scale (PS) were used to evaluate subjective chronotype. DNA samples were genotyped with respect to the 4-repeat and 5-repeat alleles of the VNTR PER3 polymorphism, and the genotype distribution was 192 (4-4), 191 (4-5), and 49 (5-5). The authors estimated that the power to detect an association of the 4-allele with preference for morningness or eveningness was 75%. The authors found no association between the PER3 clock gene and chronotype, indicating that the proposed role of PER3 needs further clarification.