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Forebrain clocks and motivated behaviour

Shimon Amir
Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Concordia University , Canada

The PER2 protein is expressed rhythmically in areas of the mammalian limbic forebrain involved in motivational and emotional regulation, the oval nucleus of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTov), the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA), the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the dentate gyrus (DG). These rhythms are controlled by the master circadian clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), but they are also sensitive to homeostatic perturbations and hormonal states that directly influence motivated behaviour. Thus, putative clock cells in the BNSTov, CEA, BLA and DG are in a position to integrate circadian and homeostatic information and to directly affect specific behavioral and physiological rhythms downstream from the master SCN pacemaker.