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Neuroscience. 2010 Oct 27;170(3):758-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.07.053. Epub 2010 Aug 1.

Phase preference for the display of activity is associated with the phase of extra-suprachiasmatic nucleus oscillators within and between species.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Abstract

Many features of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are the same in diurnal and nocturnal animals, suggesting that differences in phase preference are determined by mechanisms downstream from the SCN. Here, we examined this hypothesis by characterizing rhythmic expression of Period 1 (PER1) and Period 2 (PER2) in several extra-SCN areas in the brains of a diurnal murid rodent, Arvicanthis niloticus (grass rats). In the shell of the nucleus accumbens, dorsal striatum, piriform cortex, and CA1 of the hippocampus, both PER1 and PER2 were rhythmic, with peak expression occurring at ZT10. PER1 in the dentate gyrus also peaked at ZT10, but PER2 was arrhythmic in this region. In general, these patterns are 180 degrees out of phase with those reported for nocturnal species. In a second study, we examined inter-individual differences in the multioscillator system of grass rats. Here, we housed grass rats in cages with running wheels, under which conditions some individuals spontaneously adopt a day active (DA) and others a night active (NA) phase preference. In the majority of the extra-SCN regions sampled, the patterns of PER1 and PER2 expression of NA grass rats resembled those of nocturnal species, while those of DA grass rats were similar to the ones seen in grass without access to running wheels. In contrast, the rhythmic expression of both PER proteins was identical in the SCN and ventral subparaventricular zone (vSPZ) of DA and NA animals. Differences in the phase of oscillators downstream from the SCN, and perhaps the vSPZ, appear to determine the phase preference of particular species, as well as that of members of a diurnal species that show voluntary phase reversals. The latter observation has important implications for the understanding of health problems associated with human shift work.

Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20682334
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2950020
Free PMC Article
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