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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00139

The network mechanism of the central circadian pacemaker of the SCN: Do AVP neurons play a more critical role than expected?

  • 1Department of Integrative Neurophysiology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Japan
  • 2Kanazawa University, Japan

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) functions as the central circadian pacemaker in mammals and entrains to the environmental light/dark cycle. It is composed of multiple types of GABAergic neurons, and interneuronal communications among these neurons are essential for the circadian pacemaking of the SCN. However, the mechanisms underlying the SCN neuronal network remain unknown. This review will provide a brief overview of the current knowledge concerning the differential roles of multiple neuropeptides and neuropeptide-expressing neurons in the SCN, especially focusing on the emerging roles of arginine vasopressin-producing neurons uncovered by recent studies utilizing neuron type-specific genetic manipulations in mice.

Keywords: Circadian Rhythm, Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, vasopressin, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, Neural Network

Received: 08 Dec 2018; Accepted: 07 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Michael Lazarus, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Reviewed by:

Tomoko Yoshikawa, Faculty of Medicine, Kindai University, Japan
Yoshiaki Yamaguchi, Kyoto University, Japan  

Copyright: © 2019 Mieda. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Michihiro Mieda, Department of Integrative Neurophysiology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan,