The effects of aging on diurnal water intake and melatonin binding in the suprachiasmatic nucleus

Julia M. Whealin, Rebecca D. Burwell, Michela Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In vitro autoradiography was used to quantify [125I]melatonin binding in young rats and in aged rats that were screened for diurnal drinking prior to neurobiological study. Among the aged subjects studied, some rats exhibited a blunted diurnal rhythm in that a decreased percentage of water was consumed during the dark phase. Other aged animals maintained a strong nocturnal pattern of water intake similar to young rats. The density of [125I]melatonin binding in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus was significantly correlated with diurnal drinking, i.e. lower binding was associated with a more blunted rhythm. Thus, [125I]melatonin binding in the SCN may provide a marker for age-related decline in some aspects of biological functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 14 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • Aging
  • Autoradiography
  • Circadian
  • Diurnal rhythm
  • Drinking
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus
  • Water intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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