Chiaki Fukuhara

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We describe a hypothalamus-specific mRNA that encodes preprohypocretin, the putative precursor of a pair of peptides that share substantial amino acid identities with the gut hormone secretin. The hypocretin (Hcrt) protein products are restricted to neuronal cell bodies of the dorsal and lateral hypothalamic areas. The fibers of these neurons are widespread(More)
Several investigations have shown that illumination at night reduces melatonin level in the mammalian pineal, but the effect of night illumination on the retina is not known. In this study retinas were cultured in a flow-through apparatus and then were exposed to light at ZT 18. Light exposure reduced melatonin levels to the daytime level within 30 min. The(More)
Several studies have demonstrated that the mammalian retina contains an autonomous circadian clock. Dopaminergic and other inner retinal neurons express many of the clock genes, whereas some of these genes seem to be absent from the photoreceptors. This observation has led to the suggestion that in mammalian retina the circadian pacemaker driving retinal(More)
Nocturnin was originally identified by differential display as a circadian clock regulated gene with high expression at night in photoreceptors of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Although encoding a novel protein, the nocturnin cDNA had strong sequence similarity with a C-terminal domain of the yeast transcription factor CCR4, and with mouse and(More)
The mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) contains the main circadian clock. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) that is released from the intergeniculate leaflet of the lateral geniculate body to the SCN, acts in the SCN to advance circadian phase in the subjective day via the NPY Y2 receptor. We used semi-quantitative in situ hybridization to determine the effect of(More)
Circadian rhythms are endogenous cycles with periods close to, but not exactly equal to, 24 h. In mammals, circadian rhythms are generated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus as well as several peripheral cell types, such as fibroblasts. Protein kinases are key regulators of the circadian molecular machinery. We investigated the role of(More)
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) contains a circadian clock and regulates melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland. Light exposure during the subjective night acutely increases the mRNA levels of the Period (Per)1 gene in the SCN and acutely suppresses melatonin levels in the pineal gland. Activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the SCN has(More)
Many physiological, cellular, and biochemical parameters in the retina of vertebrates show daily rhythms that, in many cases, also persist under constant conditions. This demonstrates that they are driven by a circadian pacemaker. The presence of an autonomous circadian clock in the retina of vertebrates was first demonstrated in Xenopus laevis and then,(More)
Period 1 (Per1), 2 (Per2) and arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) mRNA levels were determined by semi-quantitative in situ hybridization in rat pineal glands. In agreement with previous reports, AA-NAT mRNA levels were rhythmic in light:dark (LD) cycles and the rhythm persisted in constant dim light (DLL). Per1 and Per2 mRNA also showed significant(More)
Several studies have established that melatonin synthesis occurs in the retina of vertebrates, including mammals. In mammals, a subpopulation of photoreceptors (probably the cones) synthesize melatonin. Melatonin synthesis in the retina is elevated at night and reduced during the day in a fashion similar to events in the pineal gland. Both the MT1 and MT2(More)