A New Fiji-Based Algorithm That Systematically Quantifies Nine Synaptic Parameters Provides Insights into Drosophila NMJ Morphometry
Over the years it has become crystal clear that a variety of processes encode time-of-day information, ranging from gene expression, protein stability, or subcellular localization of key proteins, to the fine tuning of network properties and modulation of input signals, ultimately ensuring that physiology and behavior are properly synchronized to a changing environment. The purpose of this review is to put forward examples (as opposed to generate a comprehensive revision of all the available literature) in which the circadian system displays a remarkable degree of plasticity, from cell autonomous to circuit-based levels. In the literature, the term circadian plasticity has been used to refer to different concepts. The obvious one, more literally, refers to any change that follows a circadian (circa=around, diem=day) pattern, i.e. a daily change of a given parameter. The discovery of daily remodeling of neuronal structures will be referred herein as structural circadian plasticity, and represents an additional and novel phenomenon modified daily. Finally, any plasticity that has to do with a circadian parameter would represent a type of circadian plasticity; as an example, adjustments that allow organisms to adapt their daily behavior to the annual changes in photoperiod is a form of circadian plasticity at a higher organizational level, which is an emergent property of the whole circadian system. Throughout this work we will revisit these types of changes by reviewing recent literature delving around circadian control of clock outputs, from the most immediate ones within pacemaker neurons to the circadian modulation of rest-activity cycles.