The long-term goal of our research is to understand how cells of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are organized to form a 24-hr biological clock, and what roles specific neurotransmitters and modulators play in timekeeping and resetting processes. We have been addressing these questions by assessing the pattern of spontaneous neuronal activity, using extracellular and whole-cell patch recording techniques in long-lived SCN brain slices from rats. We have observed that a robust pacemaker persists in the ventrolateral region of microdissected SCN, and have begun to define the electrophysiological properties of neurons in this region. Furthermore, we are investigating changing sensitivities of the SCN to resetting by exogenous neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, serotonin, and neuropeptide Y, across the circadian cycle. Our findings emphasize the complexity of organization and control of mammalian circadian timing.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of biological rhythms|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)