Nucleus suprachiasmaticus: the biological clock in the hamster?

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Science  16 Jan 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4223, pp. 197-199
DOI: 10.1126/science.942799


Destruction of the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the golden hamster by bilateral radiofrequency lesions abolishes three well-documented circadian rhythms--locomotor activity, estrous cyclicity, and photoperiodic photosensitivity. Entrainment of these rhythms by light cycles fails in lesioned hamsters; females become persistently estrous; in both sexes locomotor activity becomes sporadic, confined primarily to the light instead of darkness, and is totally arrhythmic when lesioned animals are exposed to continuous darkness; the photoperiodic gonadal response (gonadal regression induced by short day lengths) is abolished; lesioned animals remain reproductively mature irrespective of photoperiodic treatment.