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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Feb;76(2):999-1003.

The pineal gland: a pacemaker within the circadian system of the house sparrow.


Transplantation of pineal tissue into the anterior chamber of the eye rapidly reestablishes rhythmicity in arhythmic pinealectomized sparrows and also transfers the phase of the donor bird's rhythm to the host. Thus, the transplanted pineal does not merely permit rhythmicity to be expressed but rather transfers an oscillation that controls the remainder of the circadian system and restores the capacity for self-sustained rhythmicity. Long-term recordings, during which sparrosw were exposed to various lighting conditions, demonstrate a remarkable similarity between the circadian system in normal birds and that in birds bearing pineal transplants.

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