Entrainment of rat circadian rhythms by daily injection of melatonin depends upon the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei

Vincent M. Cassone, Michael J. Chesworth, Stuart M. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although pinealectomy has little effect on the generation of circadian rhythmicity by mammals, daily injections of the pineal hormone melatonin entrain free-running rats [30]. The present study was designed to determine if known components of mammalian circadian organization were necessary for melatonin entrainment. Rats received either lesions to the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), sham-lesions or neurotoxic lesions to brain catecholamines or serotonin. They were then allowed to free-run in constant dim red light (DD) before each received daily injections of either 1 mg/kg melatonin or ethanol:saline vehicle for 90 days. They were allowed to free-run for 30 days afterwards. Rats which received sham-lesions or neurotoxic lesions entrained to melatonin injections but not to vehicle. Rats which received complete SCN lesions were unaffected by melatonin or vehicle. These data suggest that the behavioral effects of melatonin, like those on reproduction in seasonally breeding mammals, depend upon an intact circadian system and the SCN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1121
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

Keywords

  • Circadian rhythms
  • Dopamine
  • Entrainment
  • Melatonin
  • Norepinephrine
  • Serotonin
  • Suprachiasmatic nuclei
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Entrainment of rat circadian rhythms by daily injection of melatonin depends upon the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this