Living organisms including humans drive circadian rhythm, and this rhythm influences the social structure and daily life of human beings. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) has been established as a pacemaker for mammalian circadian rhythm. There are many kinds of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in this nucleus. The circadian systems are involved in oscillation, input (entrainment) and output (overt rhythm). Therefore in this review, pharmacological characteristics of circadian systems in relation to the SCN are discussed by focussing especially upon the roles of various neurotransmitters and modulators.
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