Mammalian circadian rhythmicity is endogenously generated by a pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nuclei and precisely entrained to the 24-hr day/night cycle by periodic environmental light cues. We show that light alters the immunoreactive levels of a transcriptional regulatory protein, Fos, in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of albino rats. Photic regulation of Fos immunoreactivity does not occur in other retino-recipient brain areas except for the intergeniculate leaflet, which appears to be involved in mediating some of the complex effects of light on expressed circadian rhythms. Our results point to a promising new functional marker for the cellular effects of light and suggest that the expression of Fos or a related nuclear protein may be part of the mechanism for photic entrainment of the circadian clock to environmental light/dark cycles. (.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 1990|
- Circadian rhythm
- Transcription factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas