Constructing the suprachiasmatic nucleus: A watchmaker's perspective on the central clockworks

Joseph L. Bedont, Seth Blackshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The circadian system constrains an organism's palette of behaviors to portions of the solar day appropriate to its ecological niche. The central light-entrained clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the mammalian circadian system has evolved a complex network of interdependent signaling mechanisms linking multiple distinct oscillators to serve this crucial function. However, studies of the mechanisms controlling SCN development have greatly lagged behind our understanding of its physiological functions. We review advances in the understanding of adult SCN function, what has been described about SCN development to date, and the potential of both current and future studies of SCN development to yield important insights into master clock function, dysfunction, and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - May 28 2015


  • Axon pathfinding
  • Cell fate
  • Chronotype
  • Circadian
  • Clock genes
  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Suprachiasmatic
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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