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Circadian organization in the ruin lizard Podarcis sicula: the role of the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus

By MINUTINI L., INNOCENTI A., BERTOLUCCI C. and FOA' A.

Abstract

The effects of electrolytic lesions to the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus (SCN) on circadian rhythms of locomotor activity were examined in ruin lizards Podarcis sicula maintained in constant darkness and constant temperature (29°C). All lizards (N = 15) in which the lesion damaged 80% or more of the SCN became behaviorally arrhythmic. On the contrary, locomotor rhythms persisted in all cases (N = 11) when the SCN remained intact and lesions were confined to neighbouring regions of the preoptic area. Taken together with previous work which demonstrates that the pineal and the retinae are not essential for the persistence of circadian locomotor rhythmicity in Podarcis sicula and with recent evidence showing the homology between the SCN of lizards and those of mammals the present results strongly support the view that the SCN of Podarcis sicula contain the primary pacemaker(s) for locomotor rhythms

Topics: Circadian, Locomotor activity, Suprachiasmatic nuclei, Lesion, Lizards
Year: 1995
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/1198019
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