NMDA receptor antagonists block the effects of light on circadian behavior in the mouse.
Colwell CS., Foster RG., Menaker M.
We report here the results of experiments designed to evaluate whether NMDA receptors mediate the phase shifting effects of light on the circadian rhythm of wheel-running activity in mice. Intraperitoneal administration of either the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,b]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801), or the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, 3(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP) blocked light-induced phase advances and delays. Neither drug, by itself, caused any consistent effect on the phase of the rhythm. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the effects of MK-801 on light-induced phase shifts in a retinally degenerate and retinally normal strain of C57 mouse. These data, coupled with previous findings, indicate that excitatory amino acid receptors play an important role in the transmission of light information from the retina to the circadian system.