home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

Waking Up The Brain

  June, 30 2001 0:09
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Circadian rhythms - the brain's 24-hour clock - are known to be controlled by a small area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN. One of this region's tasks is to provide a 'wake-up call' at roughly the same time every morning, which is most noticeable to people suffering from jet lag after changing time zones. Another area of the brain, the locus coeruleus or LC, controls arousal and alertness.

In this issue (Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 4, No. 7, 01 July 2001), Gary Aston-Jones and colleagues describe a pathway connecting these two regions. Anatomical tracing identified several potential relay areas in the brain that receive axons from the SCN and send axons to the LC. The authors then showed that electrical signaling in the LC varies with the circadian rhythm, with neurons firing faster during the rats' waking period than during their sleep period. Damage to one of the relay regions, the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), eliminated the circadian changes in LC activity. These findings suggest that this pathway may be involved in sending the wake-up call from the SCN to the LC neurons whose activity promotes wakefulness.

Dr. Gary Aston-Jones
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
VA Medical Center (151)
University & Woodland Avenues
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104
tel: +1- 215 573 5200
fax: +1- 215 573 5202
e-mail: gaj@mail.med.upenn.edu

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.