Restricted feeding induces anticipatory activity rhythm and also entrains the peripheral circadian clocks, although the underlying brain mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) has been implicated in the regulation of restricted feeding-induced anticipatory activity rhythms (FAA), but the role of the DMH in restricted feeding- induced entrainment of peripheral circadian clocks is still unknown. In the present study, the role of the DMH in entrainment of the peripheral circadian clock was examined using Per2::luciferase knock-in mice. The results indicate that lesions that destroy the large mediobasal hypothalamic (MBH) lesions destroying the DMH, ventrolateral hypothalamus (VMH), and arcuate nucleus (ARC) significantly reduce daily locomotor activity rhythms and FAA formation. In addition, these lesions phase advanced the peak of liver Per2 expression by 2 h when compared to sham-operated mice. Following the administration of MBH lesions, the animals run less and start later in the restricted feeding- induced FAA rhythm but do not have any alterations in the restricted feeding- induced phase shift of the liver Per2 rhythm. These results demonstrate that the hypothalamus, including the MBH, is an important brain area for maintaining the locomotor rhythm and FAA formation. However, it is not necessary for restricted feeding-induced entrainment of the liver clock.
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