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      Central Clock Regulates the Cervically Stimulated Prolactin Surges by Modulation of Dopamine and Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Release in Ovariectomized Rats

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          Background/Aims: Cervical stimulation induces a circadian rhythm of prolactin secretion and antiphase dopamine release. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) controls this rhythm, and we propose that it does so through clock gene expression within the SCN. Methods: To test this hypothesis, serial blood samples were taken from animals injected with an antisense deoxyoligonucleotide cocktail for clock genes (generated against the 5′ transcription start site and 3′ cap site of per1, per2, and clock mRNA) or with a random-sequence deoxyoligonucleotide in the SCN. To determine whether disruption of clock genes in the SCN compromises the neural mechanism controlling prolactin secretion, we sacrificed another group of rats (under the same treatments) at 12.00 or 17.00 h. Dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were measured using HPLC/electrochemical detection in the median eminence as well as the intermediate and the neural lobe of the pituitary gland, and the DOPAC:dopamine ratio was used as an index of dopamine activity. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) content was determined in tissue punches of the SCN and paraventricular nucleus (PVN), an SCN efferent. Results: Treatment with clock gene antisense deoxyoligonucleotide cocktail abolished both the diurnal and nocturnal prolactin surges induced by cervical stimulation. This treatment abolished the antiphase relationship established by cervical stimulation between dopamine neuronal activity and prolactin secretion. Also, VIP content increased in the SCN and decreased in the PVN. Conclusion: These results suggest that the SCN clock determines the circadian rhythm of prolactin secretion in cervically stimulated rats by regulating dopamine neuronal activity and VIP inputs to the PVN.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Differential functions of mPer1, mPer2, and mPer3 in the SCN circadian clock.

          The role of mPer1 and mPer2 in regulating circadian rhythms was assessed by disrupting these genes. Mice homozygous for the targeted allele of either mPer1 or mPer2 had severely disrupted locomotor activity rhythms during extended exposure to constant darkness. Clock gene RNA rhythms were blunted in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of mPer2 mutant mice, but not of mPER1-deficient mice. Peak mPER and mCRY1 protein levels were reduced in both lines. Behavioral rhythms of mPer1/mPer3 and mPer2/mPer3 double-mutant mice resembled rhythms of mice with disruption of mPer1 or mPer2 alone, respectively, confirming the placement of mPer3 outside the core circadian clockwork. In contrast, mPer1/mPer2 double-mutant mice were immediately arrhythmic. Thus, mPER1 influences rhythmicity primarily through interaction with other clock proteins, while mPER2 positively regulates rhythmic gene expression, and there is partial compensation between products of these two genes.
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            Nonredundant roles of the mPer1 and mPer2 genes in the mammalian circadian clock.

            Mice carrying a null mutation in the Period 1 (mPer1) gene were generated using embryonic stem cell technology. Homozygous mPer1 mutants display a shorter circadian period with reduced precision and stability. Mice deficient in both mPer1 and mPer2 do not express circadian rhythms. While mPER2 regulates clock gene expression at the transcriptional level, mPER1 is dispensable for the rhythmic RNA expression of mPer1 and mPer2 and may instead regulate mPER2 at a posttranscriptional level. Studies of clock-controlled genes (CCGs) reveal a complex pattern of regulation by mPER1 and mPER2, suggesting independent controls by the two proteins over some output pathways. Genes encoding key enzymes in heme biosynthesis are under circadian control and are regulated by mPER1 and mPER2. Together, our studies show that mPER1 and mPER2 have distinct and complementary roles in the mouse clock mechanism.
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              Suprachiasmatic nucleus organization.

               J Speh,  Y Moore,  R Leak (2002)
              The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is a dominant circadian pacemaker in the mammalian brain controlling the rest-activity cycle and a series of physiological and endocrine functions to provide a foundation for the successful elaboration of adaptive sleep and waking behavior. The SCN is anatomically and functionally organized into two subdivisions: (1) a core that lies adjacent to the optic chiasm, comprises predominantly neurons producing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) or gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) colocalized with GABA and receives dense visual and midbrain raphe afferents, and (2) a shell that surrounds the core, contains a large population of arginine vasopressin (AVP)-producing neurons in its dorsomedial portion, and a smaller population of calretinin (CAR)-producing neurons dorsally and laterally, colocalized with GABA, and receives input from non-visual cortical and subcortical regions. In this paper, we present a detailed quantitative analysis of the organization of the SCN core and shell in the rat and place this in the context of the functional significance of the subdivisions in the circadian control of regulatory systems.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 2010
                29 October 2009
                : 91
                : 2
                : 179-188
                aBiological Science and Program in Neuroscience, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla., and bNeuroscience and Behavior Program and Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., USA
                254379 PMC2853580 Neuroendocrinology 2010;91:179–188
                © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 60, Pages: 10
                Circadian Deregulation of Hormones


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