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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)
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)
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)
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)
In the not too distant past, it was common belief that rhythms in the physical environment were the driving force, to which organisms responded passively, for the observed daily rhythms in measurable physiological and behavioral variables. The demonstration that this was not the case, but that both plants and animals possess accurate endogenous(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)
Tryptophan hydroxylase is the first of four enzymes in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway. Recent studies have shown that there are two genes, Tph1 and Tph2, that encode tryptophan hydroxylase in mammals. In this study, we investigated which of the two genes is expressed in the rat retina. To that end, we measured Tph1 (classical Tph) and Tph2 mRNA levels(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)
Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) is the key regulatory enzyme in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway. Previous investigations have reported that Aa-nat mRNA in rat is only detected in a sub-population of photoreceptor cells that resemble cones in shape and size. In the present study, we investigated Aa-nat expression in the rat retina by using in(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)