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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Jan 17;92(2):612-6.

The period clock gene is expressed in central nervous system neurons which also produce a neuropeptide that reveals the projections of circadian pacemaker cells within the brain of Drosophila melanogaster.

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Institut für Botanik, Tübingen, Germany.


The period protein (PER) is a essential component of the circadian clock in Drosophila melanogaster. Although PER-containing pacemaker cells have been previously identified in the brain, the neuronal network that comprises the circadian clock remained unknown. Here it is shown that some PER neurons are also immunostained with an antiserum against the crustacean pigment-dispersing hormone (PDH). This antiserum reveals the entire arborization pattern of these pacemaker cells. The arborizations of these neurons are appropriate for modulation of the activity of many neurons and they might interact with PER-containing glial cells. A putative physiological role of PDH in the circadian system is discussed.

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