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Peptides. 1998;19(7):1191-208.

The role of vasopressin in modulating circadian rhythm responses to phase shifts.

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Department of Psychology, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH 44118, USA.


Telemetered body temperature (BT), heart rate (HR), and motor activity (AC) data were collected in vasopressin-containing, Long-Evans (LE) and vasopressin-deficient, Brattleboro (DI) rats. In Experiment 1, the rats were initially exposed to a 12 h/12 h light/dark cycle under ad-libitum feeding and were then subjected to either a phase-advance or phase-delay shift of 6 h. After the phase-advance shift, neither strain adapted; however, after the phase-delay shift, both strains adapted rapidly. In Experiment 2, the animals were subjected to either a nocturnal or a diurnal restricted-feeding paradigm and were then exposed to either a phase-advance or phase-delay shift with synchronized feeding. In the nocturnal restricted-feeding paradigms, both strains rapidly adapted to both shifts. Concerning diurnal restricted-feeding, DI animals readily entrained to the presentation of food in both shifts; whereas, LE animals exhibited a confused rhythmicity. In Experiment 3, animals were subjected to a phase-advance shift, while the time of feeding was held constant. Following the shift, LE animals responded to the onset of the dark at the new time; yet, were still influenced by the presentation of food. The DI animals maintained the preshift circadian pattern and continued to be dominated by the presentation of food. These experiments indicate that circadian rhythms of LE animals are dominated by the light entrainable oscillator (LEO) in ad-libitum feeding and by both the LEO and food entrainable oscillator (FEO) in restricted-feeding. On the other hand, the circadian rhythms of DI animals are dominated by the FEO unless food is provided ad-libitum. The demonstrated role of vasopressin in synchronizing circadian rhythms to the LEO may be of significance in understanding human circadian rhythm disturbances, such as jet lag.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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