The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus function as the primary circadian pacemaker. A receptor for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), denoted as VIP2, is abundantly expressed in the SCN. Since the rodent circadian clock demonstrates phase-dependent sensitivity to exogenous VIP, we investigated the possibility that VIP2 receptor mRNA is differentially expressed in the SCN across the 24 h cycle. To establish whether VIP2 receptor mRNA levels change across the 12:12 h light-dark (LD) cycle (lights on designated as Zeitgeber time (ZT) 0), rats were killed at ZT 0, 2, 6, 10, 12, 14, 18 and 22. To determine if variation in this mRNA occurs in the absence of LD entrainment cues, Lights were not turned on at the time of transition from dark to light (designated as CT 0); the animals in this group were killed in constant darkness (DD) at CT 0, 2, 6, 10, 12, 14, 18 and 22. In situ hybridization histochemistry indicated no variations in VIP2 receptor mRNA in the cingulate cortex under either LD or DD conditions. There was, however, significant variation in the expression of VIP2 receptor mRNA within the SCN during the LD cycle, with one peak at ZT 6 and at ZT 22. A comparable biphasic pattern of mRNA expression was observed in DD animals with peaks at CT 10 and another at CT 22. The results suggest that the phase-dependent actions of VIP on the clock may involve phase-specific changes in the availability of VIP2 receptor within the SCN. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Molecular brain research|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1998|