Received November 27, 2013; Revision received December 30, 2013
This review presents data concerning metabolic rhythms with periods close to one hour (20 to 120 min): their occurrence, biochemical organization, nature, and significance for adaptations and age-related changes of cells and organs. Circahoralian (ultradian) rhythms have been detected for cell mass and size, protein synthesis, enzyme activities, concentration of ATP and hormones, cell respiration, and cytoplasm pH. Rhythms have been observed in bacteria, yeasts, and protozoa, as well as in many cells of metazoans, including mammals, in vivo and in cell cultures. In cell populations, the rhythms are organized by direct cell–cell communication. The biochemical mechanism involves membrane signal factors and cytoplasmic processes resulting in synchronization of individual oscillations to a common rhythm. Phosphorylation of proteins is the key process of coordination of protein synthesis and enzyme activity kinetics. The fractal nature of circahoralian rhythms is discussed as well as the involvement of these rhythms in adaptations of the cells and organs. Senescent decrease in rhythm amplitudes and correspondingly in cell–cell communication has been observed. The possibility of remodeling these changes through the intercellular medium has been predicted and experimentally shown. Perspectives for studies of the organizers and disorganizers of cell–cell communication in the intercellular medium along with appropriate receptors are discussed with special emphasis on aging and pathology. One perspective can be more precise definition of the range of normal biochemical and physiological state with the goal of correction of cellular functions.
KEY WORDS: metabolic rhythms, kinetics of protein synthesis, kinetics of enzyme activities, direct cell–cell communication, fractals, aging