Other Publications (1)
Articles by Tara A. LeGates in JoVE
Other articles by Tara A. LeGates on PubMed
Accelerated Re-entrainment to Advanced Light Cycles in BALB/cJ Mice Physiology & Behavior. Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19619568 Circadian rhythms in mammals are coordinated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus, which are most potently synchronized to environmental light-dark cycles. Large advances in the light-dark cycle typically yield gradual advances in activity rhythms on the order of 1-2h per day until re-entrainment is complete due to limitations on the circadian system which are not yet understood. In humans, this delay until re-entrainment is accomplished is experienced as jetlag, with accompanying symptoms of malaise, decreased cognitive performance, sleep problems and gastrointestinal distress. In these experiments, locomotor rhythms of BALB/cJ mice monitored by running wheels were shown to re-entrain to large 6- or 8-hour shifts of the light-dark cycle within 1-2 days, as opposed to the 5-7 days required for C57BL/6J mice. A single-day 6-hour advance of the LD cycle followed by release to constant darkness yielded similar phase shifts, demonstrating that exaggerated re-entrainment is not explained by masking of activity by the light-dark cycle. Responses in BALB/cJ mice were similar when monitored instead by motion detectors, indicating that wheel-running exercise does not influence the magnitude of responses. Neither brief (15 min) light exposure late during subjective nighttime nor 6-hour delays of the light-dark cycle produced exaggerated locomotor phase shifts, indicating that BALB/cJ mice do not merely experience enhanced sensitivity to light. Fos protein was expressed in cells of the SCN following acute light exposure at ZT10 of their previous light-dark cycle, a normally non-responsive time in the circadian cycle, but only in BALB/cJ (and not C57BL/6J) mice that had been subjected two days earlier to a single-day 6-hour advance of the light-dark cycle, indicating that their SCN had been advanced by that treatment. BALB/cJ mice may thus serve as a useful comparative model for studying molecular and physiological processes that limit responsiveness of circadian clocks to photic input.