In aperiodic rats with lesions in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), rhythms with a circadian period in spontaneous locomotion, wheel-running, feeding, drinking, body temperature and plasma corticosterone were restored by chronic administration of methamphetamine. These rhythms were not entrained by a light-dark cycle. Wheel-running, feeding and drinking rhythms in individual rats were in phase in terms of ultradian bout as well as circadian fluctuation. Rhythms of the intraperitoneal temperature appeared accompanying the spontaneous locomotor rhythm. The phase relation between the two rhythms was similar to that of SCN dependent rhythms. Plasma corticosterone also fluctuated in a circadian fashion. The corticosterone peak preceded the activity onset of locomotor rhythm by a few hours, which was similar to the phase relation observed in the SCN intact animals. It is concluded that the oscillatory mechanism underlying the spontaneous locomotor rhythm in SCN lesioned and methamphetamine treated rats drives also other physiological rhythms. The phase-relations among them were similar to those of rhythms driven by the circadian pacemaker in the SCN. © 1988.
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