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The occurrence and functions of ultradian rhythms.

Lloyd, D and Stupfel, M 1991. The occurrence and functions of ultradian rhythms. Biological Reviews 66 (3) , 275--299. 10.1111/j.1469-185x.1991.tb01143.x

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Ultradian oscillations with periods between 5 min and 4 h have been described in cell-free extracts, single-celled eukaryotes, cultured cells and embryos. Whereas some of these potentially oscillatory systems (e.g. glycolysis) may only exhibit this type of behaviour rarely if at all in vivo, other ultradian oscillators in lower eukaryotes are rhythms and probably have timekeeping functions. Rhythms with ultradian periods of 10 min to 20 h in oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production have also been studied in endotherm animals: these rhythms may be modified by variations of environmental parameters and by circadian and infradian synchronizers. Interspecies and interstrain differences strongly suggest that these rhythms are endogenous and have a genetic origin. We suggest that the temporal organization of biochemical and physiological processes facilitates optimization of thermodynamic maintenance of the organism within the random fluctuations of its physicochemical environment and contributes to genetic selection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1464-7931
Date of Acceptance: 21 March 1991
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2020 11:31

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