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Brain Res. 1992 Dec 11;598(1-2):332-6.

Circadian and developmental regulation of Oct-2 gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nuclei.

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  • 1Laboratory of Developmental Chronobiology, Children's Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


Oct-2 is a transcriptional activating factor that is expressed in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the site of a biological clock. We examined in rats whether Oct-2 gene expression is regulated by the circadian pacemaker or by light using quantitative in situ hybridization. The ontogeny of Oct-2 gene expression in the SCN was also studied. Oct-2 mRNA levels remained constant throughout the circadian cycle. In contrast to c-fos mRNA levels which are acutely induced by acute light exposure at night, Oct-2 mRNA levels were not increased by light exposure at night. At gestational day 18, the first age the SCN are anatomically distinct, a prominent Oct-2 hybridization signal was present in the SCN. Our results suggest that Oct-2 is constitutively expressed in the SCN and is present from the time the SCN are discernible as discrete nuclei in fetal brain.

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