Optic enucleation eliminates circadian rhythm shifts induced by stimulating the intergeniculate leaflet in Syrian hamsters

Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.03). 12/2007; 427(2):107-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.09.017
Source: PubMed


The intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) is a region of the lateral geniculate complex that is part of the circadian system. It receives direct innervation by specialized retinal ganglion cells involved in circadian rhythm entrainment and is also reciprocally connected to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is the principal circadian pacemaker. Electrical stimulation in the IGL results in shifts of circadian rhythms with a pattern of phase dependence that resembles that elicited by periods of darkness. IGL stimulation also increases levels of c-Fos in the dorsolateral part of the caudal SCN. A previous study showed that optic enucleation prevents increases in c-Fos in the SCN, suggesting the hypothesis that this increase is related to antidromic activation of retinal ganglion cells which bifurcate and project to both SCN and IGL. We tested whether phase shifts induced by IGL stimulation are also dependent on intact retinal innervation. Electrical stimulation of the IGL for 60 min at circadian time (CT)9 (with CT12 defined as activity onset) induced phase advances in nine hamsters with electrodes in the IGL, while other placements did not evoke shifts. After optic enucleation, six of these hamsters received an identical second stimulation; none showed substantial phase shifts. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that phase shifts induced by IGL stimulation depend on antidromic activation of retinal ganglion cells.

3 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mammalian circadian rhythms are controlled by endogenous biological oscillators, including a master clock located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). Since the period of this oscillation is of approximately 24 h, to keep synchrony with the environment, circadian rhythms need to be entrained daily by means of Zeitgeber ("time giver") signals, such as the light-dark cycle. Recent advances in the neurophysiology and molecular biology of circadian rhythmicity allow a better understanding of synchronization. In this review we cover several aspects of the mechanisms for photic entrainment of mammalian circadian rhythms, including retinal sensitivity to light by means of novel photopigments as well as circadian variations in the retina that contribute to the regulation of retinal physiology. Downstream from the retina, we examine retinohypothalamic communication through neurotransmitter (glutamate, aspartate, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide) interaction with SCN receptors and the resulting signal transduction pathways in suprachiasmatic neurons, as well as putative neuron-glia interactions. Finally, we describe and analyze clock gene expression and its importance in entrainment mechanisms, as well as circadian disorders or retinal diseases related to entrainment deficits, including experimental and clinical treatments.
    Physiological Reviews 07/2010; 90(3):1063-102. DOI:10.1152/physrev.00009.2009 · 27.32 Impact Factor