The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus contains a circadian pacemaker that regulates many circadian rhythms in mammals. Experimental work in microorganisms and invertebrates suggests that protein synthesis is required for the function of the circadian oscillator, and recent experiments in golden hamsters suggest an acute inhibition of protein synthesis can induce phase shifts in a mammalian circadian pacemaker. To determine whether protein synthesis in the SCN region is involved in the generation of circadian rhythms in mammals, a protein synthesis inhibitor, anisomycin, was microinjected into the SCN region, and the effect on the circadian rhythm of locomotor activity of hamsters was measured. A single injection of anisomycin into the SCN region induced phase shifts in the circadian activity rhythm that varied systematically as a function of the phase of injection within the circadian cycle. These results suggest that protein synthesis may be involved in the generation of circadian rhythms in mammals and that the anatomic site of action of anisomycin is within the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic region.
|American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
|Published - 1988
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)