Circadian rhythm and light responsiveness of BMAL1 expression, a partner of mammalian clock gene Clock, in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of rats

Neurosci Lett. 1998 Dec 18;258(2):93-6. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(98)00877-5.


To clarify whether BMAL1 is involved in the photic signal transduction in the mammalian circadian clock, we examined the effects of a single light pulse on the level of BMAL1 mRNA in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of rats by in situ hybridization. Rats were exposed to 30 min light of ca. 300 lux at six different phases in constant darkness and decapitated 60 min later. BMAL1 transcripts in the SCN of the control animals showed a robust circadian oscillation with the highest expression at ZT (Zeitgeber time) 18 and the lowest at ZT2. The light pulse slightly increased the level of BMAL1 transcripts in the SCN. However, the increment did not depend on the phase of light pulse. There was no significant change in the BMAL1 mRNA level up to 120 min after a light pulse at ZT14 and ZT22. These results indicate that BMAL1 transcription is not involved in the photic signal transduction responsible for non-parametric entrainment of the circadian clock in rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Photoperiod
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors