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After a time-shift, mixed signals from the circadian clock

complex ways, how the two groups of cells adapt to a shifted light schedule.

The authors conclude that the phases of activity in the ventral and dorsal clock shift with different speeds. During a schedule shift corresponding to a transition from the U.S. to western Europe, the ventral part of the clock is immediately synchronized to the new light schedule, but the dorsal part of the clock requires several days to adjust. This results temporarily in bimodal patterns of electrical activity that are generated by the clock within the SCN. Because electrical activity is the output of the circadian clock, the findings suggest that after a significant shift in light schedule, the rest of the brain is transiently--for a duration of about six days--exposed to complex signaling patterns from the circadian clock.

The researchers include Henk Albus, Mariska J. Vansteensel, Stephan Michel, and Johanna H. Meijer of Leiden University Medical Center; and Henk Albus and Gene D. Block of the University of Virginia. Research was supported by National Institutes of Health grant and by Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum Excellent Student trajectory.

Henk Albus, Mariska J. Vansteensel, Stephan Michel, Gene D. Block, and Johanna H. Meijer: "A GABAergic Mechanism Is Necessary for Coupling Dissociable Ventral and Dorsal Regional Oscillators within the Circadian Clock." Current Biology, Vol. 15, 886?93, May 24, 2005. http://www.current-biology.com


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Source:Cell Press


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