Vasopressin in circadian function of SCN
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) that acts as the primary circadian pacemaker in mammals is responsible fororchestrating multiple circadian rhythms in every organism. A network structure in the SCN composed ofmultiple types of neurons orchestrates the circadian rhythms. Despite speculations regarding the working of theclock, the molecular mechanisms governing it is far from clear. The molecular mechanism seems to be wovenaround the genes present and their linking with the neuromodulators. With the advancement in knowledgeregarding the role of neuromodulators in the workings of the clock, especially that of Arginine vasopressin(AVP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), the entire picture of the mechanisms involved and therefore theimportance of these neuromodulators has changed considerably. AVP seems to be very important for thefunctioning of the clock and its role has been well established based on the evidence available at present.Enormous research is going on to study the role of AVP and new roles are likely to be assigned to AVP in theexecution of function in the SCN. Of late, there have been reports indicating linkage of AVP with jet lag in apositive way, suggesting vasopressin signalling as a possible remedy for ill effects and their improvement.Studies also show circadian rhythm disturbances in mood disorders and the same is related to AVP levels in theSCN. Various findings are thus in accordance with strong suggestions for a critical role for AVP in SCNfunction.
Volume 46, 2021
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