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Spontaneous action potentials in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are necessary for normal circadian timing of behavior in mammals. The SCN exhibits a daily oscillation in spontaneous firing rate (SFR), but the ionic conductances controlling SFR and the relationship of SFR to subsequent circadian behavioral rhythms are not understood. We show that daily(More)
Melanopsin has been proposed as an important photoreceptive molecule for the mammalian circadian system. Its importance in this role was tested in melanopsin knockout mice. These mice entrained to a light/dark cycle, phase-shifted after a light pulse, and increased circadian period when light intensity increased. Induction of the immediate-early gene c-fos(More)
Temperature compensation and the effects of heat pulses on rhythm phase were assessed in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Circadian neuronal rhythms were recorded from the rat SCN at 37 and 31 degrees C in vitro. Rhythm period was 23.9 +/- 0.1 and 23.7 +/- 0.1 hr at 37 and 31 degrees C, respectively; the Q(10) for tau was 0.99. Heat pulses were(More)
Temperature compensation of circadian rhythms in neuronal firing rate was investigated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of ground squirrels and rats in vitro. A reduction in SCN temperature from 37 to 25 degrees C reduced peak firing rates by > 70% in rats but only by approximately 21% in squirrels; trough firing rates were marginally altered in both(More)
Decades of studies have shown that eliminating circadian rhythms of mammals does not compromise their health or longevity in the laboratory in any obvious way. These observations have raised questions about the functional significance of the mammalian circadian system, but have been difficult to address for lack of an appropriate animal model. Surgical(More)
Siberian hamsters express torpor spontaneously after several weeks of exposure to short days. In long days, torpor is expressed only when food intake is restricted. Hamsters maintained in a long photoperiod (16 h light/day) at 15 degrees C expressed daily torpor during food restriction both before and after bilateral ablation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus(More)
Hibernation patterns were monitored continuously for 2.5 years in female squirrels that were neurologically intact or in which the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) was completely ablated (SCNx). The number of hibernation bouts in SCNx squirrels increased by 159%, total hibernation time increased by 58%, and periodic arousals from hibernation were(More)
Female Siberian hamsters maintained in a winter photoperiod (8 h light/day) ceased to undergo daily torpor during infusion of prolactin (PRL) from osmotic minipumps; winter torpor was reinstated within 3 days of discontinuation of treatment. By contrast, PRL infusion was ineffective in suppressing daily torpor elicited by restricting food intake in female(More)
Body temperature (T(b)) was recorded at 10 min intervals over 2.5 years in female golden-mantled ground squirrels that sustained complete ablation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCNx). Animals housed at an ambient temperature (T(a)) of 6.5 degrees C were housed in a 12 hr light/dark cycle for 19 months followed by 11 months in constant light. The circadian(More)
Female golden-mantled ground squirrels that sustained complete ablation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCNx) were housed pre- and post-operatively at 23 degrees C and then at 6.5 degrees C for 5-7 yr. SCNx and control animals held at the higher temperature manifested circannual rhythms (CARs) in body mass. In contrast, body mass CARs were not expressed in(More)