Immediate Early Gene Expression Within the Visual System: Light and Circadian Regulation in the Retina and the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
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- Caputto, B.L. & Guido, M.E. Neurochem Res (2000) 25: 153. doi:10.1023/A:1007508020173
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Immediate early genes are a family of genes that share the characteristic of having their expression rapidly and transiently induced upon stimulation of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. In this review, first a short description of the IEGs is given, then it is discussed the stimulus-induced and circadian-induced variations in the expression of IEGs in the visual system, mainly in the retina and the suprachiasmatic nucleus. The possible physiological consequences of these variations in IEG expression are also considered. Finally, we refer to two aspects of our recent studies and those of other laboratories involving light-driven IEG expression. The first is the finding that in the chick retina, the expression of c-fos is differentially modulated in the different cell types and that c-fos regulates the synthesis of the quantitatively most important lipids of all cells, the phospholipids, by a non-genomic mechanism. The second is the occurrence of differential waves of IEG expression in the mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus regarding light induction or spontaneous oscillations.