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Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jan 23;355(1-2):131-5.

Daily variations of blood glucose, acid-base state and PCO2 in rats: effect of light exposure.

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Laboratory of Neurobiology of Rhythms, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR 7518), Department of Neuroscience (IFR37), Université Louis Pasteur, 12 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France.


The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus are the site of the main circadian clock in mammals. Synchronization of the SCN to light is achieved by direct retinal inputs. The present study performed in rats transferred to constant darkness shows that blood glucose, pH and PCO2 display significant diurnal changes when measurements were made during the subjective day, the early subjective night or the late subjective night. The effects of a 30-min light exposure (100 lx) on these metabolic parameters at each of these circadian times were assessed. Regardless of the circadian time, light induced an increase in blood glucose, but did not affect plasma pH and PCO2. This study suggests that blood glucose, PCO2 and acid-base state are under circadian control, most likely mediated by the SCN, while the hyperglycemic response to light seems not to be gated by a circadian clock and may thus involve retinal inputs to non-SCN retino-recipient areas.

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