Antiphase Oscillation of the Left and Right Suprachiasmatic Nuclei

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Science  27 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5492, pp. 799-801
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5492.799

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An unusual property of the circadian timekeeping systems of animals is rhythm “splitting,” in which a single daily period of physical activity (usually measured as wheel running) dissociates into two stably coupled components about 12 hours apart; this behavior has been ascribed to a clock composed of two circadian oscillators cycling in antiphase. We analyzed gene expression in the hypothalamic circadian clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), of behaviorally “split” hamsters housed in constant light. The results show that the two oscillators underlying the split condition correspond to the left and right sides of the bilaterally paired SCN.

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