Mammalian Per1 (or RIGUI) is a recently described putative clock gene that is expressed in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It is also expressed in the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary, where melatonin appears to drive its expression. This study examines the regulation of Per1 expression, In ovine PT cells, oPer1 is an early response gene transiently expressed after stimulation with forskolin, but melatonin has no independent effect on its expression. In sheep, PT tissue photoperiodic background influences the magnitude or timing of expression of oPer1 2 h after lights-on. These data demonstrate that oPer1 mRNA is elevated in the PT following the decline in night-time melatonin, and that the amplitude or timing of this elevation is dependent upon the duration of the nocturnal melatonin signal.
- early response gene