The discharge of suprachiasmatic (SCN), retrochiasmatic (RCA) and arcuate (ARC) neurones was recorded in brain slices incubated for periods up to 30 h. The firing rate of cells in the SCN, but not in the RCA and ARC, exhibited a circadian rhythm similar to that reported for the SCN in freely moving animals. This rhythm cannot be ascribed to subtle exogenous diurnal variations in the incubation conditions. It is concluded that the SCN explant is capable of endogenous generation of at least one circadian cycle in vitro. © 1982.
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