How does the circadian clock send timing information to the brain?

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Abstract

This paper discusses circadian output in terms of the signaling mechanisms used by circadian pacemaker neurons. In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus houses a clock controlling several rhythmic events. This nucleus contains one or more pacemaker circuits, and exhibits diversity in transmitter content and in axonal projections. In Drosophila, a comparable circadian clock is located among period-expressing neurons, a sub-set of which (called LN-vs) express the neuropeptide PDF. Genetic experiments indicate LN-vs are the primary pacemakers neurons controlling daily locomotion and that PDF is the principal circadian transmitter. Further definition of pacemaker properties in several model systems will provide a useful basis with which to describe circadian output mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-342
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Circadian output
  • Drosophila
  • PDF
  • Pacemaker
  • SCN

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