Grafting fetal suprachiasmatic nuclei in the hypothalamus of old hamsters restores responsiveness of the circadian clock to a phase shifting stimulus

Brain Res. 1994 Apr 18;643(1-2):338-42. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(94)90044-2.


In the present study, 18-25-month-old hamsters free-running in constant dim light were injected, both before and after receiving fetal grafts containing either cerebellar tissue or the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), with a dose of triazolam given at a time known to reliably phase shift the rhythm of locomotor activity in young hamsters. SCN-grafted animals, but not control animals implanted with fetal cerebellar tissue, showed a significantly greater response to the phase shifting effects of triazolam, demonstrating that at least some age-related changes in the circadian system can be reversed by neuronal transplantation. These results raise the possibility that neuropharmacological interventions that can simulate the effects of fetal SCN grafts might be useful in the treatment of age-related disorders in circadian function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation / physiology*
  • Hypothalamus / growth & development*
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Motor Activity*
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / transplantation*
  • Time