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Neurosci Lett. 1994 Sep 26;179(1-2):95-9.

Suppression of suprachiasmatic nucleus neurone activity with a vasopressin receptor antagonist: possible role for endogenous vasopressin in circadian activity cycles in vitro.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Bristol, UK.


Neurones of the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) were tested with [Arg8]vasopressin (AVP) and the AVP receptor antagonist, [d(CH2)5,d-Tyr(OEt)2,Val4,Cit8]-vasopressin in vitro. 52% of AVP-responsive neurones showed an antagonist-induced decrease in activity, indicative of the presence of an endogenous excitatory tone. The magnitude of this effect declined significantly between subjective light and dark phases, consistent with the possibility that circadian fluctuations in endogenous AVP excitation contribute to the cycle of electrical activity within the SCN. However, similar fluctuations in basal activity between the light and dark phases was observed for both antagonist-sensitive and -insensitive neurones, indicating that endogenous AVP was not the only factor determining the circadian cycle.

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