Diurnal Variation of the Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Level in the Hypothalamus
Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), the neuropeptide produced mainly in the hypothalamus, plays an operative role in regulating food intake and the sleep/wake cycle. Considering that these physiological functions pursue diurnal variations, we checked whether the total hypothalamic MCH level depends on the time of the day. The aggregated MCH peptide content of the whole MCH neuron population was significantly higher at the end of the sleeping period (lights on), than at the end of the active period (lights off). This result, together with earlier observations, indicates that in contrast to the MCH gene expression, the level of MCH peptide is object of circadian variation in the hypothalamus.
KeywordsNeuropeptide circadian rhythm energy homeostasis sleep
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