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Brain Res. 1990 Jul 16;523(1):117-20.

Do NMDA receptors mediate the effects of light on circadian behavior?

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Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22901.


We report here the results of experiments designed to evaluate whether a specific NMDA receptor antagonist, (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,b]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801), blocks the phase shifting effects of light on the circadian rhythm of wheel-running activity in golden hamsters. Intraperitoneal administration of (+)-MK-801 produced a dose-dependent blockade of both light-induced phase advances and delays. The effect was stereoselective and treatment with related compounds, phenylcyclidine and ketamine, also blocked light-induced phase shifts. MK-801, by itself, did not cause any consistent effect on the phase of the rhythm. These data, coupled with previous findings, indicate that excitatory amino acid receptors play an important role in the transmission of light information from the retina to the circadian system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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