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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 257-265

Effect of Transplanting Suprachiasmatic Nuclei from Donors of Different Ages into Completely SCN Lesioned Hamsters

NSF Center for Biological Timing, Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the primary circadian pacemaker in mammals. Ralph and colleagues/14/provided recent new evidence for this by transplanting SCNs between golden hamsters with different genetically determined periods and producing circadian rhythmsof running wheel activity with periods characteristic of the donor. We have extended these studies in order to evaluate the age range of donor tissue that can be used for transplantation. SCN of hamsters from embryonic day 11 through postnatal day 12 can serve as functional grafts to restore rhythmicity to arrhythmic SCN lesioned animals. The time between SCN transplantation and onset of rhythmicity does not depend on the age of the donor. The presence of patches containing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) immunoreactive cells is a good indicator of graft success, while its absence is correlated with a lack of transplant effect. The 18 day span during which SCN tissue can be harvested for transplantation should expand the uses to which this technique can be put. Our results also suggest that it would be advantageous to examine the age range of neural tissue that ca’n be used in other transplantation models.