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Role of melanopsin in circadian responses to light.

Science (New York, N.Y.) | Dec 13, 2002

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12481140

Melanopsin has been proposed as an important photoreceptive molecule for the mammalian circadian system. Its importance in this role was tested in melanopsin knockout mice. These mice entrained to a light/dark cycle, phase-shifted after a light pulse, and increased circadian period when light intensity increased. Induction of the immediate-early gene c-fos was observed after a nighttime light pulse in both wild-type and knockout mice. However, the magnitude of these behavioral responses in knockout mice was 40% lower than in wild-type mice. Although melanopsin is not essential for the circadian clock to receive photic input, it contributes significantly to the magnitude of photic responses.

Pubmed ID: 12481140 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Biological Clocks | Circadian Rhythm | Darkness | Female | Gene Expression Regulation | Gene Targeting | Genes, fos | In Situ Hybridization | Light | Light Signal Transduction | Male | Mice | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Mice, Knockout | Motor Activity | Retinal Ganglion Cells | Rod Opsins | Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: DA13349
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: HL64148
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH60385

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