Entrainment of the Body Temperature Rhythm in Rats: Effect of Color and Intensity of Environmental Light

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Science  07 Sep 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4103, pp. 956-957
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4103.956


The daily rhythm in body temperature in rats was continuously monitored during exposure to low-intensity environmental illumination of various colors in the visible and near-ultraviolet spectrum. The ability of phase shifts in the lighting schedule to induce concomitant changes in the rhythm was used to determine the spectral sensitivity of the retinal photoreceptor systems mediating rhythm entrainment. Green light (λ = 530 ± 45 nanometers) was most potent, and red (λ = 660 ± 19 nanometers) and ultraviolet (λ = 360 ± 34 nanometers) were least potent in entraining the temperature rhythm.