Calbindin-D28K (CalB)ĝ€"containing cells form a distinct cluster within the core of the hamster suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). These cells are directly retinorecipient but lack detectable rhythms in clock gene expression or electrical activity. In studies exploring SCN connectivity using double-label immunochemistry, we previously reported an absence of contacts among CalB fibers and vasopressin (VP) cells in animals sacrificed during the day. Here, we explored circadian variations in CalB-immunoreactivity (-ir) and re-examined the connections between CalB and other SCN cell types at zeitgeber times (ZT) 4 and 14. The results reveal a circadian rhythm of CalB-ir in fibers of SCN cells with high expression during the night and subjective night and low expression during the day and subjective day. This circadian difference is not seen in the other brain regions studied. Significantly more appositions were detected between CalB fibers and VP cells during the night than during the day, while circadian variation in numbers of contacts was not seen between CalB fibers and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), cholecystokinin (CCK), or gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) cells. There was no detectable variation in appositions from any peptidergic fiber type onto CalB cells. The present findings suggest that CalB cells relay photic information to VP oscillator cells of the SCN shell in a temporally gated manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)