The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)

Hard Tissues maintain a record of whole body metabolism and enlighten the metabolomics of development and life history


1Department of Biomaterials & Biomimetics, New York University College of Dentistry, 2Department of Physical Therapy and Human Performance, Florida Gulf Coast University, 3Department of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology, New York University College of Dentistry, 4Department of Animal Science, University of Wisconsin, 5Department of Palaeoanthropology, Senckenberg Research Institute

March 26, 2015 8:15, Grand Ballroom D Add to calendar

The science of physiological time is key to understanding the biological basis of life history. However, our knowledge of the chronobiological factors regulating integrated mammalian life histories remains completely naught. Recently, a biological timing mechanism, the Havers-Halberg oscillation (HHO), was shown to strongly associate with all mammalian organ/tissue/body mass and life history characteristics. Evidence for this mechanism comes from bone and tooth tissues that often store in their mineralized microstructures and chemistry a record of responses by their forming cells to systemic circadian and multidien metabolic rhythms, manifesting as periodic growth lines at specific intervals of whole days. Among primates the multidien rhythm ranges from about 2 to 12 days, depending entirely upon a species' body size and life history matrix, suggesting a metabolic link with body mass. To characterize this rhythm we evaluated metabolic profiles of domestic swine from plasma samples regularly drawn over two weeks, subjecting them to chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and analyzing the periodicities of their circulating metabolites. 49% of 228 metabolites conformed to the 5-day multidien rhythm of its enamel. The biological functions of these metabolites are rate of cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and the concentration of Ca2+. The overarching biological role of these functions converge upon the regulation of the pace at which body mass is increased. We thus conclude that multidien biological timing has been co-opted among some major mammalian taxa - e.g., Primates - to generate HHO rhythms that likely regulate adult body mass and through this mechanism their life histories.

Support provided by the 2010 Max Planck Research Award to TGB, administered by the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in respect of the Human Paleobiomics program.