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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2001 Aug;12(4):295-303.

The mammalian circadian clock shop.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Box 1137, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA. Herzog@biology.wustl.edu


In mammals, a master circadian pacemaker driving daily rhythms in behavior and physiology resides in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN contains multiple circadian oscillators that synchronize to environmental cycles and to each other in vivo. Rhythm production, an intracellular event, depends on more than eight identified genes. The period of the rhythms within the SCN also depends upon intercellular communication. Many other tissues also retain the ability to generate near 24 -h periodicities although their place in the organization of circadian timing is still unclear. This paper focuses on the tissue-, cellular- and molecular-level events that generate and entrain circadian rhythms in behavior in mammals and emphasizes the apparent differences between the SCN and peripheral oscillators.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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