Gold-thioglucose-induced hypothalamic lesions inhibit metabolic modulation of light-induced circadian phase shifts in mice

Etienne Challet*, Daniel J. Bernard, Fred W. Turek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The circadian clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei is entrained by the 24-h variation in light intensity. The clock's responses to light can, however, be reduced when glucose availability is decreased. We tested the hypothesis that the ventromedial hypothalamus, a key area in the integration of metabolic and hormonal signals, mediates the metabolic modulation of circadian responses to light by injecting C57BL/6J mice with gold-thioglucose (0.6 g/kg) which damages glucose-receptive neurons, primarily located in the ventromedial hypothalamus. Light pulses applied during the mid-subjective night induce phase delays in the circadian rhythm of locomotor activity in mice kept in constant darkness. As previously observed, light-induced phase delays were significantly attenuated in fed mice pre-treated with 500 mg/kg i.p. 2-deoxy-D-glucose and in hypoglycemic mice fasted for 30 h, pre-treated with 5 IU/kg s.c. insulin or saline, compared to control mice fed ad libitum. In contrast, similar metabolic challenges in mice with gold-thioglucose- induced hypothalamic lesions did not significantly affect light-induced phase delays compared to mice treated with gold-thioglucose and fed ad libitum. These results indicate that destruction of gold-thioglucose-sensitive neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus prevent metabolic regulation of circadian responses to light during shortage of glucose availability. Therefore, the ventromedial hypothalamus may be a central site coordinating the metabolic modulation of light-induced phase shifts of the circadian clock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 3 1999


  • C57BL/6J mouse
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Fasting
  • Glucose utilization
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus
  • Ventromedial hypothalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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