We investigated the involvement of calmodulin and Ca2+/calmodulin- dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in the photic entrainment of circadian rhythms using calmodulin inhibitors such as calmidazolium (CMZ) and trifluoperazine (TFP), and a CaMKII inhibitor, KN-62, in rats. Fos expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of rats induced by photic stimulation (300 lux, 1 h) during the early subjective night of the rats was inhibited by treatment with CMZ (10 mg/kg i.p.) or TFP (20 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before photic stimulation. With respect to the neuronal firing rate in the rat SCN slice, KN-62 and CMZ application during the early subjective night attenuated the glutamate (10 μM)-induced phase shift. The present results suggest that calmodulin and CaMKII are involved in the photic entrainment mechanism in the rodent SCN.
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