Serotonin and the Regulation of Mammalian Circadian Rhythms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a circadian oscillator that functions as a biological clock. SCN circadian activity is modulated by serotonergic input arising from the median raphe nucleus. The effects of this monoamine neurotransmitter in the SCN are mediated via several serotonin receptor subtypes that modify the SCN response to light and/or the phase of the SCN oscillation. Disruptions of circadian rhythms are associated with mood disorders and serotonin has been implicated in their pathophysiology. Pharmacological treatments for affective disorders that produce their effects through the serotonergic system can affect the SCN and the regulation of circadian rhythms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological clock
  • Chronopharmacology
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Mood disorders
  • Retinohypothalamic tract
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
  • Serotonin (5-HT)
  • Serotonin receptors
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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