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Live imaging of altered period1 expression in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of Vipr2-/-mice

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare GuildingORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and its receptor, VPAC(2), play important roles in the functioning of the brain's circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). Mice lacking VPAC(2) receptors (Vipr2(-/-)) show altered circadian rhythms in locomotor behavior, neuronal firing rate, and clock gene expression, however, the nature of molecular oscillations in individual cells is unclear. Here, we used real-time confocal imaging of a destabilized green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter to track the expression of the core clock gene Per1 in live SCN-containing brain slices from wild-type (WT) and Vipr2(-/-) mice. Rhythms in Per1-driven GFP were detected in WT and Vipr2(-/-) cells, though a significantly lower number and proportion of cells in Vipr2(-/-) slices expressed detectable rhythms. Further, Vipr2(-/-) cells expressed significantly lower amplitude oscillations than WT cells. Within each slice, the phases of WT cells were synchronized whereas cells in Vipr2(-/-) slices were poorly synchronized. Most GFP-expressing cells, from both genotypes, expressed neither vasopressin nor vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. Pharmacological blockade of VPAC(2) receptors in WT SCN slices partially mimicked the Vipr2(-/-) phenotype. These data demonstrate that intercellular communication via the VPAC(2) receptor is important for SCN neurons to sustain robust, synchronous oscillations in clock gene expression.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes AT, Guilding C, Lennox L, Samuels R, McMahon D, Piggins HD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurochemistry

Year: 2008

Volume: 106

Issue: 4

Pages: 1646-1657

Print publication date: 01/08/2008

Online publication date: 28/06/2008

Acceptance date: 21/05/2008

Date deposited: 25/09/2015

ISSN (electronic): 1471-4159

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05520.x


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