Neural Mechanisms in Avian Circadian Systems: Hypothalamic Pacemaking Systems
Since the initial discovery that pinealectomy abolishes circadian locomotor rhythms in house sparrows (Gaston and Menaker 1968), the precise role of the pineal gland within the avian circadian system has been studied extensively (Menaker et al. 1978, 1981, Takahashi and Menaker 1979a). At present, there exists sufficient comparative data among avian species to suggest that the pineal plays a major role in the regulation of circadian rhythms in passerine birds, but only a minor role in gallinaceous birds (Takahashi and Menaker 1979a). The interspecific differences in the effects of pinealectomy among birds demonstrate that structures other than the pineal play an important role in regulating avian circadian rhythms.
KeywordsPineal Gland Japanese Quail Suprachiasmatic Nucleus House Sparrow Constant Darkness
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