Restoration of circadian behavior by anterior hypothalamic grafts containing the suprachiasmatic nucleus: Graft/host interconnections

Patricia J. Sollars, Gary E. Pickard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Destruction of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) disrupts circadian behavior. Transplanting SeN tissue from fetal donors into SCN- lesioned recipients can restore circadian behavior to the arhythmic hosts. In the transplantation model employing fetal hamster donors and SCN-lesioned hamsters as hosts, the period of the restored circadian behavior is hamster- typical. However, when fetal rat anterior hypothalamic tissue containing the SeN is implanted into SCN-lesioned rats, the period of the restored circadian rhythm is only rarely typical of that of the intact rat. The use of an anterior hypothalamic heterograft model provides new approaches to donor specificity of restored circadian behavior and with the aid of species- specific markers, provides a means for assessing connectivity between the graft and the host. Using an antibody that stains rat and mouse neuronal tissue but not hamster neurons, it has been demonstrated that rat and mouse anterior hypothalamic heterografts containing the SeN send numerous processes into the host (hamster) neuropil surrounding the graft, consistent with graft efferents reported in other hypothalamic transplantation models in which graft and host tissue can be differentiated (i.e., Brattleboro rat and hypogonadal mouse). Moreover, SCN neurons within anterior hypothalamic grafts send an appropriately restricted set of efferent projections to the host brain which may participate in the functional recovery of circadian locomotor activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-533
Number of pages21
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Circadian rhythms
  • Neural transplantation Heterografts
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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