C-fos mRNA increases in the ground squirrel suprachiasmatic nucleus during arousal from hibernation

Louise Bitting, Ellen L. Sutin, Fiona L. Watson, Lorriana E. Leard, Bruce F. O'Hara, H. Craig Heller, Thomas S. Kilduff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


During hibernation the body temperature of the golden-mantled ground squirrel, Spermophilus lateralis, may drop below 5°C for a few hours to a week or more. Animals cycle between euthermia and deep hibernation many times over the course of the hibernation season. Expression of the transcription factor c-fos increased in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, the mammalian circadian clock, during deep hibernation and peaked during the arousal from hibernation. The pattern of increase in c-fos messenger RNA seen in the SCN by in situ hybridization was similar to that seen by Northern blot analysis of total hypothalamic RNA. The induction of c-fos may reflect a wake-up signal, increasing transcription of genes required in the euthermic state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 3 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research supported by National Institute of Health National Research Service Award AG05556 to E.L.S., National Institute of Health Pre-Doctoral Fellowship MH17047 and a Continuing Education Grant from the American Association of University Women to L.B., and a grant from the Upjohn Company. The authors would like to thank Julio Panta for excellent animal husbandry and assistance.


  • Arousal
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Fos
  • Hypothalamus, Circannual rhythm
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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