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Neurosci Lett. 2000 Nov 10;294(1):41-4.

Phase-dependent responses of Per1 and Per2 genes to a light-stimulus in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the rat.

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Department of Anatomy and Brain Science, Kobe University School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, 650-0017, Kobe, Japan.


Single brief and discrete light treatments are sufficient to reset the overt mammalian rhythms of nocturnal rodents. In the present study, we examined the phase-dependent response of the mammalian clock genes, Per1 and Per2, to a brief strong light-stimulus (1000 lux) in the circadian oscillator center, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of rats. Light-induced elevation of Per1 mRNA was observed through the subjective night (CT16, CT20 and CT0 (=CT24)) with a marked peak at the subjective dawn (CT0). However, the light influence was very limited for the induction of Per2; only weak elevation of Per2 mRNA was detected at CT16. The effect of light-stimulus on the Per1 gene was transient, and the effect was restricted to ventrolateral SCN neurons in both CT0 and CT16 after light exposure. Since it is known that these rats show a light-induced behavioral phase-shift throughout the subjective night with being strongest at subjective dawn, the present results suggest that the transient induction of Per1 in ventrolateral SCN neurons is a critical step in the resetting of the biological clock to environmental light-dark schedule.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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