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William J Schwartz MD

TitleAdjunct Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentNeurology
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester MA 01655
Phone508-334-2527
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentNeurology


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    University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, United StatesBSBiological Sciences
    University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United StatesMD

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    Biography

    William J. Schwartz received his M.D. (1974) and neurology residency training (1978-1981) at the University of California, San Francisco, completed a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (1975-1978), and was on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital (1981-1986) before moving to the University of Massachusetts. Visiting Professorships have included the Boerhaave Professor at Leiden University Medical Centre (2005) and the Baerends Visiting Chair at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (2008), both in the Netherlands; and the Hood Fellow at the University of Auckland (2012), in New Zealand.

    Dr. William Schwartz, M.D.

    On the Neurobiology of Circadian Timekeeping

    Daily rhythms of physiology and behavior are governed by an endogenous timekeeping mechanism (a circadian "clock"), with the alternation of environmental light and darkness synchronizing (entraining) these rhythms to the natural day-night cycle. Our knowledge of circadian timekeeping of animals at the molecular and cellular levels is remarkable, and laboratories here in the Department of Neurobiology are playing major roles in these advances (Emery, Reppert, Weaver). This laboratory is focused at the tissue, organismal, and even supra-organismal levels of analysis, and how all levels of biological organization contribute to the emergent properties and increased complexity of the circadian system as a whole.

    Much of our work has focused on the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, the "master" circadian pacemaker of mammals, a tissue composed of multiple autonomous single-cell circadian oscillators (Figs 1 - 3). Our interests have included functional localization and energy metabolism, light-induced and endogenous gene expression, and the underyling dual oscillatory structure of the circadian pacemaker. We have been using molecular tools to show that some well-known circadian behaviors (e.g., "splitting," "forced desynchronization," and perhaps photoperiodism) emerge at the tissue level, in the dynamic interactions between SCN neurons rather than in the expression of "clock genes" within neurons.

    For the most part, experiments on circadian rhythmicity (including our own) have been carried out using singly-housed animals in plastic cages with temperature, humidity, and access to food rigidly controlled. Of course, many species ordinarily would not live out their lives in such seclusion. They form real ecological communities, and some live in colonies with highly developed social structures and a clear division of labor, requiring modifications to daily rhythms. For other animals living in the wild, social factors might act to synchronize their behaviors to achieve common goals or, alternatively, actively avoid each other to lessen competition for limited resources. We have been asking if the circadian system is involved in the inter-individual temporal adaptations of cohabiting animals and what mechanisms might be responsible (e.g., whether social interactions alter the rhythmicity of animals with genetically-defective clocks, and the identification of the neurobiological substrates (molecules, cells, and pathways) that underlie circadian adaptation to complex habitats).

    Figure 1. Coronal Nissl-stained section through the rat forebrain, including the bilaterally paired SCN (arrow).

    Figure 1. Coronal Nissl-stained section through the rat forebrain, including the bilaterally paired SCN (arrow).

    . Immunohistochemical arginine vasopressin (AVP) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) protein expression in a coronal section of the rat SCN, processed for double-label immunofluorescence and viewed using excitation wavelengths of 488 nm (green, for AVP) and 568 nm (red, for VIP).

    Figure 2. Immunohistochemical arginine vasopressin (AVP) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) protein expression in a coronal section of the rat SCN, processed for double-label immunofluorescence and viewed using excitation wavelengths of 488 nm (green, for AVP) and 568 nm (red, for VIP).

    Figure 3. The SCN exhibits endogenous day-night rhythms in energy metabolism, gene expression, and electrophysiological activity.

    Figure 3. The SCN exhibits endogenous day-night rhythms in energy metabolism, gene expression, and electrophysiological activity.


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    Rotations

    Rotation projects are available for students using a range of experimental approaches, including small animal stereotaxic neurosurgical procedures, longitudinal behavioral analyses, histochemical and autoradiographic imaging of neural patterns of protein and gene expression, and confocal microscopy. Contact the lab regarding specific interests and projects.



    Collapse Bibliographic 
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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Li Y, Schwartz WJ, Indic P. Dynamics of periodically forced finite N-oscillators, with implications for the social synchronization of animal rest-activity rhythms. Chaos. 2020 Oct; 30(10):103106. PMID: 33138456.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
    2. Schwartz WJ. From Generation to Generation. J Biol Rhythms. 2020 02; 35(1):3. PMID: 32013728.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    3. Schwartz WJ, Klerman EB. Circadian Neurobiology and the Physiologic Regulation of Sleep and Wakefulness. Neurol Clin. 2019 08; 37(3):475-486. PMID: 31256784.
      Citations:    
    4. Wang S, Herzog ED, Kiss IZ, Schwartz WJ, Bloch G, Sebek M, Granados-Fuentes D, Wang L, Li JS. Inferring dynamic topology for decoding spatiotemporal structures in complex heterogeneous networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 09 11; 115(37):9300-9305. PMID: 30150403.
      Citations:    
    5. Braun MC, Castillo-Ruiz A, Indic P, Jung DY, Kim JK, Brown RH, Swoap SJ, Schwartz WJ. Defective daily temperature regulation in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Exp Neurol. 2019 01; 311:305-312. PMID: 30031021.
      Citations:    
    6. Castillo-Ruiz A, Indic P, Schwartz WJ. Time management in a co-housed social rodent species (Arvicanthis niloticus). Sci Rep. 2018 01 19; 8(1):1202. PMID: 29352256.
      Citations:    
    7. Schwartz WJ. Embodied Clocks. J Biol Rhythms. 2017 12; 32(6):503-504. PMID: 29249193.
      Citations:    
    8. Schwartz WJ, Helm B, Gerkema MP. Wild clocks: preface and glossary. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 11 19; 372(1734). PMID: 28993501.
      Citations:    
    9. Helm B, Visser ME, Schwartz W, Kronfeld-Schor N, Gerkema M, Piersma T, Bloch G. Two sides of a coin: ecological and chronobiological perspectives of timing in the wild. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Nov 19; 372(1734). PMID: 28993490.
      Citations:    
    10. Schwartz WJ. On the Shoulders of Giants. J Biol Rhythms. 2017 10; 32(5):379. PMID: 29134892.
      Citations:    
    11. Brown RH, Schwartz WJ. David A. Drachman, MD (1932-2016). Neurology. 2017 03 07; 88(10):928-929. PMID: 28265038.
      Citations:    
    12. Schwartz WJ. Thirty Years. J Biol Rhythms. 2016 Feb; 31(1):3. PMID: 26759427.
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    13. Paul MJ, Indic P, Schwartz WJ. Social synchronization of circadian rhythmicity in female mice depends on the number of cohabiting animals. Biol Lett. 2015 Jun; 11(6):20150204. PMID: 26063754.
      Citations:    
    14. Schwartz WJ. Body clocks. J Biol Rhythms. 2015 Feb; 30(1):3-4. PMID: 25637643.
      Citations:    
    15. Leise TL, Indic P, Paul MJ, Schwartz WJ. Wavelet meets actogram. J Biol Rhythms. 2013 Feb; 28(1):62-8. PMID: 23382592.
      Citations:    
    16. Gu C, Liu Z, Schwartz WJ, Indic P. Photic desynchronization of two subgroups of circadian oscillators in a network model of the suprachiasmatic nucleus with dispersed coupling strengths. PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e36900. PMID: 22615838.
      Citations:    
    17. Schwartz WJ, Tavakoli-Nezhad M, Lambert CM, Weaver DR, de la Iglesia HO. Distinct patterns of Period gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus underlie circadian clock photoentrainment by advances or delays. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 11; 108(41):17219-24. PMID: 21969555.
      Citations:    
    18. Paul MJ, Schwartz WJ. Circadian rhythms: how does a reindeer tell time? Curr Biol. 2010 Mar 23; 20(6):R280-2. PMID: 20334837.
      Citations:    
    19. Schwartz WJ. Circadian rhythms: a tale of two nuclei. Curr Biol. 2009 Jun 09; 19(11):R460-2. PMID: 19515356.
      Citations:    
    20. Paul MJ, Galang J, Schwartz WJ, Prendergast BJ. Intermediate-duration day lengths unmask reproductive responses to nonphotic environmental cues. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 May; 296(5):R1613-9. PMID: 19225143.
      Citations:    
    21. Low HP, Gréco B, Tanahashi Y, Gallant J, Jones SN, Billings-Gagliardi S, Recht LD, Schwartz WJ. Embryonic stem cell rescue of tremor and ataxia in myelin-deficient shiverer mice. J Neurol Sci. 2009 Jan 15; 276(1-2):133-7. PMID: 18996543.
      Citations:    
    22. Mitome M, Low HP, Lora Rodriguez KM, Kitamoto M, Kitamura T, Schwartz WJ. Neuronal differentiation of EGF-propagated neurosphere cells after engraftment to the nucleus of the solitary tract. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Oct 31; 444(3):250-3. PMID: 18761057.
      Citations:    
    23. Indic P, Schwartz WJ, Paydarfar D. Design principles for phase-splitting behaviour of coupled cellular oscillators: clues from hamsters with 'split' circadian rhythms. J R Soc Interface. 2008 Aug 06; 5(25):873-83. PMID: 18077247.
      Citations:    
    24. Paul MJ, Zucker I, Schwartz WJ. Tracking the seasons: the internal calendars of vertebrates. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Jan 27; 363(1490):341-61. PMID: 17686736.
      Citations:    
    25. Indic P, Schwartz WJ, Herzog ED, Foley NC, Antle MC. Modeling the behavior of coupled cellular circadian oscillators in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. J Biol Rhythms. 2007 Jun; 22(3):211-9. PMID: 17517911.
      Citations:    
    26. de la Iglesia HO, Schwartz WJ. Minireview: timely ovulation: circadian regulation of the female hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Endocrinology. 2006 Mar; 147(3):1148-53. PMID: 16373412.
      Citations:    
    27. Tavakoli-Nezhad M, Schwartz WJ. c-Fos expression in the brains of behaviorally "split" hamsters in constant light: calling attention to a dorsolateral region of the suprachiasmatic nucleus and the medial division of the lateral habenula. J Biol Rhythms. 2005 Oct; 20(5):419-29. PMID: 16267381.
      Citations:    
    28. Silver R, Schwartz WJ. The suprachiasmatic nucleus is a functionally heterogeneous timekeeping organ. Methods Enzymol. 2005; 393:451-65. PMID: 15817305.
      Citations:    
    29. Schwartz WJ. Sunrise and sunset in fly brains. Nature. 2004 Oct 14; 431(7010):751-2. PMID: 15483589.
      Citations:    
    30. de la Iglesia HO, Meyer J, Schwartz WJ. Using Per gene expression to search for photoperiodic oscillators in the hamster suprachiasmatic nucleus. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2004 Aug 23; 127(1-2):121-7. PMID: 15306128.
      Citations:    
    31. de la Iglesia HO, Cambras T, Schwartz WJ, Díez-Noguera A. Forced desynchronization of dual circadian oscillators within the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus. Curr Biol. 2004 May 04; 14(9):796-800. PMID: 15120072.
      Citations:    
    32. de la Iglesia HO, Meyer J, Schwartz WJ. Lateralization of circadian pacemaker output: Activation of left- and right-sided luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone neurons involves a neural rather than a humoral pathway. J Neurosci. 2003 Aug 13; 23(19):7412-4. PMID: 12917377.
      Citations:    
    33. Van Gelder RN, Herzog ED, Schwartz WJ, Taghert PH. Circadian rhythms: in the loop at last. Science. 2003 Jun 06; 300(5625):1534-5. PMID: 12791982.
      Citations:    
    34. Meijer JH, Schwartz WJ. In search of the pathways for light-induced pacemaker resetting in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. J Biol Rhythms. 2003 Jun; 18(3):235-49. PMID: 12828281.
      Citations:    
    35. De la Iglesia HO, Schwartz WJ. A subpopulation of efferent neurons in the mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus is also light responsive. Neuroreport. 2002 May 07; 13(6):857-60. PMID: 11997701.
      Citations:    
    36. Zlomanczuk P, Mrugala M, de la Iglesia HO, Ourednik V, Quesenberry PJ, Snyder EY, Schwartz WJ. Transplanted clonal neural stem-like cells respond to remote photic stimulation following incorporation within the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Exp Neurol. 2002 Apr; 174(2):162-8. PMID: 11922658.
      Citations:    
    37. Herzog ED, Schwartz WJ. A neural clockwork for encoding circadian time. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Jan; 92(1):401-8. PMID: 11744683.
      Citations:    
    38. Schwartz WJ, de la Iglesia HO, Zlomanczuk P, Illnerová H. Encoding le quattro stagioni within the mammalian brain: photoperiodic orchestration through the suprachiasmatic nucleus. J Biol Rhythms. 2001 Aug; 16(4):302-11. PMID: 11506376.
      Citations:    
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