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DOI: 10.1159/000521286


Background/Aims: Circadian rhythms in behavior and physiology are programmed by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. A subset of SCN neurons produce the neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP), but it remains unclear whether AVP signaling influences the SCN clock directly.

Methods: Here, we test that AVP signaling acting through V1A and V1B receptors influences molecular rhythms in SCN neurons. V1 receptor agonists were applied ex vivo to PERIOD2::LUCIFERASE SCN slices, allowing for real-time monitoring of changes in molecular clock function.

Results: V1A/B agonists reset the phase of the SCN molecular clock in a time-dependent manner, with larger magnitude responses by the female SCN. Further, we found evidence that both Gαq and Gαs signaling pathways interact with V1A/B-induced SCN resetting, and that this response requires vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) signaling.

Conclusions: Collectively, this work indicates that AVP signaling resets SCN molecular rhythms in conjunction with VIP signaling and in a manner influenced by sex. This highlights the utility of studying clock function in both sexes and suggests that signal integration in central clock circuits regulates emergent properties important for the control of daily rhythms in behavior and physiology.


Accepted version. Neuroendocrinology, Vol. 112, No. 9 (August 2022): 904-916. DOI. © 2022 Karger. Used with permission.

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