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Clock-driven vasopressin neurotransmission mediates anticipatory thirst prior to sleep

Circadian rhythms have evolved to anticipate and adapt animals to the constraints of the earth’s 24-hour light cycle. Although the molecular processes that establish periodicity in clock neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are well understood, the mechanisms by which axonal projections from the central clock drive behavioural rhythms are unknown. Here we show that the sleep period in mice (Zeitgeber time, ZT0–12) is preceded by an increase in water intake promoted entirely by the central clock, and not motivated by physiological need.
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