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Circadian clocks are self-sustaining genetically based molecular machines that impose approximately 24h rhythmicity on physiology and behavior that synchronize these functions with the solar day-night cycle. Circadian clocks in the vertebrate retina optimize retinal function by driving rhythms in gene expression, photoreceptor outer segment membrane(More)
The avian retina and pineal gland contain autonomous circadian oscillators and photo-entrainment pathways, but the photopigment(s) that mediate entrainment have not been definitively identified. Melanopsin (Opn4) is a novel opsin involved in entrainment of circadian rhythms in mammals. Here, we report the cDNA cloning of chicken melanopsin and show its(More)
In mammals, the melanopsin gene (Opn4) encodes a sensory photopigment that underpins newly discovered inner retinal photoreceptors. Since its first discovery in Xenopus laevis and subsequent description in humans and mice, melanopsin genes have been described in all vertebrate classes. Until now, all of these sequences have been considered representatives(More)
Complete congenital stationary night blindness (cCSNB) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of retinal disorders characterized by nonprogressive impairment of night vision, absence of the electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave, and variable degrees of involvement of other visual functions. We report here that mutations in GPR179, encoding an orphan G(More)
Melatonin is synthesized rhythmically under control of circadian oscillators by the retinas of non-mammalian vertebrates. Here we report that the retinas of some strains of laboratory mice exhibit robust circadian rhythms of melatonin synthesis which can be entrained by light in vitro. The rd mutation results in progressive loss of the rod and later cone(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)
Daily rhythms are a ubiquitous feature of living systems. Generally, these rhythms are not just passive consequences of cyclic fluctuations in the environment, but instead originate within the organism. In mammals, including humans, the master pacemaker controlling 24-hour rhythms is localized in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus. This(More)
Circadian organization means the way in which the entire circadian system above the cellular level is put together physically and the principles and rules that determine the interactions among its component parts which produce overt rhythms of physiology and behavior. Understanding this organization and its evolution is of practical importance as well as of(More)