The master circadian oscillator in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus is entrained to the day/night cycle by retinal photoreceptors. Melanopsin (Opn4), an opsin-based photopigment, is a primary candidate for photoreceptor-mediated entrainment. To investigate the functional role of melanopsin in light resetting of the oscillator, we generated melanopsin-null mice (Opn4-/-). These mice entrain to a light/dark cycle and do not exhibit any overt defect in circadian activity rhythms under constant darkness. However, they display severely attenuated phase resetting in response to brief pulses of monochromatic light, highlighting the critical role of melanopsin in circadian photoentrainment in mammals.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.