TITLE

Adaptation to Experimental Jet-Lag in R6/2 Mice despite Circadian Dysrhythmia

AUTHOR(S)
Wood, Nigel I.; McAllister, Catherine J.; Cuesta, Marc; Aungier, Juliet; Fraenkel, Eloise; Morton, A. Jennifer
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The R6/2 transgenic mouse model of Huntington’s disease (HD) shows a disintegration of circadian rhythms that can be delayed by pharmacological and non-pharmacological means. Since the molecular machinery underlying the circadian clocks is intact, albeit progressively dysfunctional, we wondered if light phase shifts could modulate the deterioration in daily rhythms in R6/2 mice. Mice were subjected to four x 4 hour advances in light onset. R6/2 mice adapted to phase advances, although angles of entrainment increased with age. A second cohort was subjected to a jet-lag paradigm (6 hour delay or advance in light onset, then reversal after 2 weeks). R6/2 mice adapted to the original shift, but could not adjust accurately to the reversal. Interestingly, phase shifts ameliorated the circadian rhythm breakdown seen in R6/2 mice under normal LD conditions. Our previous finding that the circadian period (tau) of 16 week old R6/2 mice shortens to approximately 23 hours may explain how they adapt to phase advances and maintain regular circadian rhythms. We tested this using a 23 hour period light/dark cycle. R6/2 mice entrained to this cycle, but onsets of activity continued to advance, and circadian rhythms still disintegrated. Therefore, the beneficial effects of phase-shifting are not due solely to the light cycle being closer to the tau of the mice. Our data show that R6/2 mice can adapt to changes in the LD schedule, even beyond the age when their circadian rhythms would normally disintegrate. Nevertheless, they show abnormal responses to changes in light cycles. These might be caused by a shortened tau, impaired photic re-synchronization, impaired light detection and/or reduced masking by evening light. If similar abnormalities are present in HD patients, they may suffer exaggerated jet-lag. Since the underlying molecular clock mechanism remains intact, light may be a useful treatment for circadian dysfunction in HD.
ACCESSION #
87623578

 

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