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Non-photic phase shifting of the circadian activity rhythm of Syrian hamsters: the relative potency of arousal and melatonin


, : Non-photic phase shifting of the circadian activity rhythm of Syrian hamsters: the relative potency of arousal and melatonin. Brain Research 591(1): 20-26

This study investigated the relative potency of melatonin and arousal as Zeitgebers in the non-photic phase shifting of circadian rhythmicity in the adult Syrian hamster. Animals held under dim red light (DD) exhibited robust free-running rhythms of wheel-running activity. Melatonin (1 mg/kg) or ethanolic saline vehicle, delivered manually by subcutaneous injection after removing the animal from its cage, resulted in phase advances of the activity rhythm. This effect was phase dependent, injections at CT 8 and 10 being effective (CT 12 = anticipated activity onset), whereas injection at CT 2, 6, 14 and 20 did not cause a shift. There was no significant difference between the magnitude or timing of phase shifts in response to injections of saline or melatonin. To determine whether the observed shifts were related to arousal of the animals induced by handling, a second group held under DD were fitted with chronic s.c. cannulae so that melatonin solution or vehicle could be delivered remotely at projected CT 10. Neither solution had any effect upon the free-running rhythm. However, when these animals received manual s.c. injection of saline or melatonin solution, they exhibited phase advances similar to those observed in Expt. 1. These results fail to support the hypothesis that melatonin can exert a chemically specific, acute phase-shifting action in the adult Syrian hamster. They do, however, demonstrate the potent effect of arousing stimuli upon the circadian clock in this species.

US$29.90

PMID: 1446229


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