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Neuroreport. 1995 Jun 19;6(9):1306-8.

TTX-resistant Ca2+ oscillation in cultured hypothalamus: similarity to the mammalian circadian pacemaker.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Japan.


Dissociated cultures of rat hypothalamic cells showed spontaneous oscillations in intracellular Ca2+ with periods of 5-8 s (ultradian rhythm). Replacement of H2O by deuterium oxide in the culture medium lengthened the period of this oscillation, while tetrodotoxin did not inhibit the deuterium oxide sensitive Ca2+ oscillation. Since these characteristics resemble those of the mammalian circadian pacemaker, the ultradian Ca2+ rhythms may be involved in the circadian rhythm or have a similar rhythm generation mechanism. The gap junction inhibitor, halothane, stopped this oscillation. Gap junctions may be necessary in order to generate rhythmic oscillations.

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