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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)
The content of substance P (SP)-like immunoreactivity (LI) within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of rats was determined by enzyme immunoassay to evaluate the effect of light on SP-LI in the rat SCN. Male rats were kept under various lighting conditions: light-dark cycles, constant darkness, continuous light exposure for 24 h or light pulse interrupting(More)
The aim of the present study was to investigate the in vitro expression of Period 1 (Per1), Period 2 (Per2) and arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) genes in the rat pineal gland to understand the mechanism(s) regulating the expression of these genes in this organ. Pineals, when maintained in vitro for 5 days, did not show circadian rhythmicity in(More)
Many biochemical, physiological and behavioural processes in organisms ranging from microorganisms to vertebrates exhibit circadian rhythms. In Drosophila, the gene period (per) is required for the circadian rhythms of locomotor activity and eclosion behaviour. Oscillation in the levels of per mRNA and Period (dPer) protein in the fly brain is thought to be(More)
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus contains a circadian pacemaker in mammals. We determined the circadian profiles of arginine-vasopressin (AVP), a major peptide in the dorsomedial SCN, in rats under light-dark (LD), constant dark (DD) and constant light (LL) conditions. Under LD conditions, AVP levels in the SCN showed circadian(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)
The newly discovered multi-oscillatory nature of the mammalian circadian clock system and the cloning of the genes involved in the molecular mechanism that generates circadian rhythmicity have opened new approaches for understanding how mammals are temporally organized and how the mammalian circadian system reacts to the lack of normal synchronization cues.(More)
Melatonin is synthesized in retinal photoreceptor cells and acts as a neuromodulator imparting photoperiodic information to the retina. The synthesis of melatonin is controlled by an ocular circadian clock and by light in a finely tuned mechanism that ensures that melatonin is synthesized and acts only at night in darkness. Here we report that the circadian(More)
Entrainment of the circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus is accomplished by two neural pathways, the retinohypothalamic and geniculohypothalamic tracts. The geniculohypothalamic tract, which originates from the intergeniculate leaflet and a portion of the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus, is composed of fibers immunoreactive to neuropeptide(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)