Roles of Suprachiasmatic Nuclei and Intergeniculate Leaflets in Mediating the Phase-Shifting Effects of a Serotonergic Agonist and Their Photic Modulation during Subjective Day

Etienne Challet*, Kathryn Scarbrough, Plamen D. Penev, Fred W. Turek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Serotonin (5-HT) has been implicated in the phase adjustment of the circadian system during the subjective day in response to nonphotic stimuli. Two components of the circadian system, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) (site of the circadian clock) and the intergeniculate leaflet (IGL), receive serotonergic projections from the median raphe nucleus and the dorsal raphe nucleus, respectively. Experiment 1, performed in golden hamsters housed in constant darkness, compared the effects of bilateral microinjections of the 5-HT1A/7 receptor agonist, 8-hydroxydipropylaminotetralin (8-OH-DPAT; 0.5 μg in 0.2 μL saline per side), into the IGL or the SCN during the mid-subjective day. Bilateral 8-OH-DPAT injections into either the SCN or the IGL led to significant phase advances of the circadian rhythm of wheel-running activity (p < .001). The phase advances following 8-OH-DPAT injections in the IGL were dose dependent (p < .001). Because a light pulse administered during the middle of the subjective day can attenuate the phase-resetting effect of a systemic injection of 8-OH-DPAT, Experiment 2 was designed to determine whether light could modulate 5-HT agonist activity at the level of the SCN and/or the IGL. Serotonergic receptor activation within the SCN, followed by a pulse of light (300 lux of white light lasting 30 min), still induced phase advances. In contrast, the effect of serotonergic stimulation within the IGL was blocked by a light pulse. These results indicate that the respective 5-HT projections to the SCN and IGL subserve different functions in the circadian responses to photic and nonphotic stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-421
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of biological rhythms
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1998

Keywords

  • Circadian activity rhythm
  • Serotonin
  • Syrian hamster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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