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Title: The habenula clock influences response to a stressor
Authors: Basnakova, Adriana
Cheng, Ruey-Kuang
Chia, Joanne Shu Ming
D'Agostino, Giuseppe
Tan, Germaine Jia Hui
Langley, Sarah Raye
Jesuthasan, Suresh
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Basnakova, A., Cheng, R., Chia, J. S. M., D'Agostino, G., Suryadi, Tan, G. J. H., Langley, S. R. & Jesuthasan, S. (2021). The habenula clock influences response to a stressor. Neurobiology of Stress, 15, 100403-.
Project: MOE2017-T2-058
Journal: Neurobiology of Stress
Abstract: The response of an animal to a sensory stimulus depends on the nature of the stimulus and on expectations, which are mediated by spontaneous activity. Here, we ask how circadian variation in the expectation of danger, and thus the response to a potential threat, is controlled. We focus on the habenula, a mediator of threat response that functions by regulating neuromodulator release, and use zebrafish as the experimental system. Single cell transcriptomics indicates that multiple clock genes are expressed throughout the habenula, while quantitative in situ hybridization confirms that the clock oscillates. Two-photon calcium imaging indicates a circadian change in spontaneous activity of habenula neurons. To assess the role of this clock, a truncated clocka gene was specifically expressed in the habenula. This partially inhibited the clock, as shown by changes in per3 expression as well as altered day-night variation in dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine levels. Behaviourally, anxiety-like responses evoked by an alarm pheromone were reduced. Circadian effects of the pheromone were disrupted, such that responses in the day resembled those at night. Behaviours that are regulated by the pineal clock and not triggered by stressors were unaffected. We suggest that the habenula clock regulates the expectation of danger, thus providing one mechanism for circadian change in the response to a stressor.
ISSN: 2352-2895
DOI: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2021.100403
DOI (Related Dataset): 10.21979/N9/FSWP4N
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
Organisations: Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles
SPMS Journal Articles

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