Mathematical modeling of circadian rhythms and dopamine
The superchiasmatic nucleus (SCN) serves as the primary circadian (24hr) clock in mammals, and is known to control important physiological functions such as the sleep-wake cycle, hormonal rhythms, and neurotransmitter regulation. Experimental results suggest that some of these functions reciprocally influence circadian rhythms, creating a complex and highly homeostatic network. Recent evidence shows that the activator BMAL1-CLOCK and downstream clock proteins REV-ERB and ROR are involved in dopamine (DA) synthesis and degradation. DA is involved in learning, motivation, and movement, and is linked to neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and addiction. We created a mathematical model consisting of differential equations that express how circadian variables are influenced by light, how REV-ERB and ROR feedback to the clock, and how REV-ERB, ROR, and BMAL1-CLOCK affect the dopaminergic system. The structure of the model is based on the findings of experimentalists.
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