Data from a previous report  demonstrated that the proto-oncogene c-fos mRNA expression undergoes basally a circadian fluctuation in the rat brain. The present study was designed to verify by means of Northern blot hybridization the eventual occurrence of a spontaneous oscillation in the expression of other two proto-oncogenes, jun B and c-jun, during 24 h. Rats were either entrained to a light-dark photoperiod or maintained under constant darkness or light. During the dark period, as well as the subjective night, the jun B mRNA levels in the cerebral cortex and striatum were 4-6 times higher than in the light hours or subjective day. No consistent oscillation was found in the c-jun mRNA expression during 24 h in any of the examined brain regions. These results suggest the possibility of different interactions of the c-fos, jun B and c-jun gene products throughout a 24-h period in discrete brain regions.
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