Circadian pacemakers that drive rhythmicity in retinal function are found in both invertebrates and vertebrates. They have been localized to photoreceptors in molluscs, amphibians, and mammals. Like other circadian pacemakers, they entrain to light, oscillate based on a negative feedback between transcription and translation of clock genes, and control a variety of physiological and behavioral rhythms that often includes rhythmic melatonin production. As a highly organized and accessible tissue, the retina is particularly well suited for the study of the input-output pathways and the mechanism for rhythm generation. Impressive advances can now be expected as researchers apply new molecular techniques toward looking into the eye's clock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-247
Number of pages19
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Circadian
  • Melatonin pacemaker
  • Photoreceptor
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus


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