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VIP neurons shift daily rhythms

August 06, 2018

Neurons in the brain's master clock that adjust their activity in response to light have a key role in the resetting of an animal's daily cycle, finds a study of male and female mice published in JNeurosci. These cells may be responsible for circadian rhythm disruptions stemming from exposure to artificial light at night.

By demonstrating in mice that suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) neurons expressing the neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) exhibit a regular cycle in their activity levels that is disrupted under conditions of constant light, Erik Herzog and colleagues resolve long-standing questions about how the SCN synchronizes the body's daily rhythms to environmental light. Blocking the activity of these neurons reduced the severity of shifts in daily rhythms. These findings suggest a potential mechanism by which the modern advent of light at night may have led to an increased prevalence of sleep disorders.
-end-
Article: SCN VIP neurons are essential for normal light-mediated resetting of the circadian system*
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1322-18.2018
Corresponding author: Erik Herzog (Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA), herzog@wustl.edu

*A preprint of this manuscript has been posted on bioRxiv.

About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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