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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 22;8(7):e68793. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068793. Print 2013.

Forced desynchrony reveals independent contributions of suprachiasmatic oscillators to the daily plasma corticosterone rhythm in male rats.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington, USA. wotusc@seattleu.edu

Abstract

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is required for the daily rhythm of plasma glucocorticoids; however, the independent contributions from oscillators within the different subregions of the SCN to the glucocorticoid rhythm remain unclear. Here, we use genetically and neurologically intact, forced desynchronized rats to test the hypothesis that the daily rhythm of the glucocorticoid, corticosterone, is regulated by both light responsive and light-dissociated circadian oscillators in the ventrolateral (vl-) and dorsomedial (dm-) SCN, respectively. We show that when the vlSCN and dmSCN are in maximum phase misalignment, the peak of the plasma corticosterone rhythm is shifted and the amplitude reduced; whereas, the peak of the plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) rhythm is also reduced, the phase is dissociated from that of the corticosterone rhythm. These data support previous studies suggesting an ACTH-independent pathway contributes to the corticosterone rhythm. To determine if either SCN subregion independently regulates corticosterone through the sympathetic nervous system, we compared unilateral adrenalectomized, desynchronized rats that had undergone either transection of the thoracic splanchnic nerve or sham transection to the remaining adrenal. Splanchnicectomy reduced and phase advanced the peak of both the corticosterone and ACTH rhythms. These data suggest that both the vlSCN and dmSCN contribute to the corticosterone rhythm by both reducing plasma ACTH and differentially regulating plasma corticosterone through an ACTH- and sympathetic nervous system-independent pathway.

PMID:
23894346
PMCID:
PMC3718825
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0068793
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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