The master coordinator of daily schedules in mammals, located in the ventral hypothalamus, is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This relatively small population of neurons and glia generates circadian rhythms in physiology and behavior and synchronizes them to local time. Recent advances have begun to define the roles of specific cells and signals (e.g., peptides, amino acids, and purine derivatives) within this network that generate and synchronize daily rhythms. Here we focus on the best-studied signals between neurons and between glia in the mammalian circadian system with an emphasis on time-of-day pharmacology. Where possible, we highlight how commonly used drugs affect the circadian system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCircadian Clocks
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media, LLC
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783642259494
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)0171-2004
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0325


  • ATP
  • AVP
  • GABA
  • GRP
  • Little SAAS
  • SCN
  • VIP


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