Masking responses to light in period mutant mice.

TitleMasking responses to light in period mutant mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
JournalChronobiology international
Volume28
Issue8
Pagination657-63
ISSN0742-0528
Abstract

Masking is an acute effect of an external signal on an overt rhythm and is distinct from the process of entrainment. In the current study, we investigated the phase dependence and molecular mechanisms regulating masking effects of light pulses on spontaneous locomotor activity in mice. The circadian genes, Period1 (Per1) and Per2, are necessary components of the timekeeping machinery and entrainment by light appears to involve the induction of the expression of Per1 and Per2 mRNAs in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). We assessed the roles of the Per genes in regulating masking by assessing the effects of light pulses on nocturnal locomotor activity in C57BL/6J Per mutant mice. We found that Per1(-/-) and Per2(-/-) mice had robust negative masking responses to light. In addition, the locomotor activity of Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-) mice appeared to be rhythmic in the light-dark (LD) cycle, and the phase of activity onset was advanced (but varied among individual mice) relative to lights off. This rhythm persisted for 1 to 2 days in constant darkness in some Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-) mice. Furthermore, Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-) mice exhibited robust negative masking responses to light. Negative masking was phase dependent in wild-type mice such that maximal suppression was induced by light pulses at zeitgeber time 14 (ZT14) and gradually weaker suppression occurred during light pulses at ZT16 and ZT18. By measuring the phase shifts induced by the masking protocol (light pulses were administered to mice maintained in the LD cycle), we found that the phase responsiveness of Per mutant mice was altered compared to wild-types. Together, our data suggest that negative masking responses to light are robust in Per mutant mice and that the Per1(-/-)/Per2(-/-) SCN may be a light-driven, weak/damping oscillator.

URLhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/07420528.2011.596296
DOI10.3109/07420528.2011.596296
Short TitleChronobiol Int
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