ABSTRACT: People with mood disorders often have disruptions in their circadian rhythms. Recent molecular genetics has linked circadian clock genes to mood disorders. Our objective was to study two core circadian clock genes, CRY1 and CRY2 as well as TTC1 that interacts with CRY2, in relation to depressive and anxiety disorders. Of these three genes, 48 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whose selection was based on the linkage disequilibrium and potential functionality were genotyped in 5910 individuals from a nationwide population-based sample. The diagnoses of major depressive disorder, dysthymia and anxiety disorders were assessed with a structured interview (M-CIDI). In addition, the participants filled in self-report questionnaires on depressive and anxiety symptoms. Logistic and linear regression models were used to analyze the associations of the SNPs with the phenotypes. Four CRY2 genetic variants (rs10838524, rs7121611, rs7945565, rs1401419) associated significantly with dysthymia (false discovery rate q<0.05). This finding together with earlier CRY2 associations with winter depression and with bipolar type 1 disorder supports the view that CRY2 gene has a role in mood disorders.
Project description:The circadian clock comprises a set of genes involved in cell-autonomous transcriptional feedback loops that orchestrate the expression of a range of downstream genes, driving circadian patterns of behavior. Cognitive dysfunction, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorders have been associated with disruptions in circadian rhythm and circadian clock genes, but the causal relationship of these associations is still poorly understood. In the present study, we investigate the effect of genetic disruption of the circadian clock, through deletion of both paralogs of the core gene cryptochrome (Cry1 and Cry2). Mice lacking Cry1 and Cry2 (Cry1(-/-)Cry2(-/-) ) displayed attenuated dark phase and novelty-induced locomotor activity. Moreover, they showed impaired recognition memory but intact fear memory. Depression-related behaviors in the forced swim test or sucrose preference tests were unaffected but Cry1(-/-)Cry2(-/-) mice displayed increased anxiety in the open field and elevated plus maze tests. Finally, hyperlocomotion and striatal phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) induced by a single cocaine administration are strongly reduced in Cry1(-/-)Cry2(-/-) mice. Interestingly, only some behavioral measures were affected in mice lacking either Cry1 or Cry2. Notably, recognition memory was impaired in both Cry1(-/-)Cry2(+/+) and Cry1(+/+)Cry2(-/-) mice. Moreover, we further observed elevated anxiety in Cry1(-/-)Cry2(+/+) and Cry1(+/+)Cry2(-/-) mice. Our data indicate that beyond their role in the control of circadian rhythm, cryptochrome genes have a direct influence in cognitive function, anxiety-related behaviors and sensitivity to psychostimulant drugs.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Dysregulation of circadian rhythms is a key symptom of mood disorders, including anxiety disorders and depression. Whether the circadian abnormalities observed in depressed patients are cause or consequence of the disease remains elusive. Here we aimed to explore potential disturbances of circadian rhythms in a validated genetic animal model of high trait anxiety and co-morbid depression and examine its molecular correlates. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mice selectively bred for high (HAB) and normal (NAB) anxiety- and co-segregating depression-like behavior were subjected to analysis of circadian wheel-running activity to determine light-entrained (LD) and free-running circadian (DD) rhythms and a light-induced phase shift. Clock gene expression in HAB/NAB hippocampal tissue was analyzed by qRT-PCR and verified by Western blotting. RESULTS: Compared to NABs, HAB mice were found to present with altered DD length of daily cycle, fragmented ultradiem rhythms, and a blunted phase shift response. Clock gene expression analysis revealed a selective reduction of Cry2 expression in hippocampal tissue of HAB mice. DISCUSSION: We provide first evidence for a dysregulation of circadian rhythms in a mouse model of anxiety and co-morbid depression which suggests an association between depression and altered circadian rhythms at the genetic level and points towards a role for Cry2.
Project description:Abnormalities in the circadian clockwork often characterize patients with major depressive and bipolar disorders. Circadian clock genes are targets of interest in these patients. CRY2 is a circadian gene that participates in regulation of the evening oscillator. This is of interest in mood disorders where a lack of switch from evening to morning oscillators has been postulated.We observed a marked diurnal variation in human CRY2 mRNA levels from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and a significant up-regulation (P = 0.020) following one-night total sleep deprivation, a known antidepressant. In depressed bipolar patients, levels of CRY2 mRNA were decreased (P = 0.029) and a complete lack of increase was observed following sleep deprivation. To investigate a possible genetic contribution, we undertook SNP genotyping of the CRY2 gene in two independent population-based samples from Sweden (118 cases and 1011 controls) and Finland (86 cases and 1096 controls). The CRY2 gene was significantly associated with winter depression in both samples (haplotype analysis in Swedish and Finnish samples: OR = 1.8, P = 0.0059 and OR = 1.8, P = 0.00044, respectively).We propose that a CRY2 locus is associated with vulnerability for depression, and that mechanisms of action involve dysregulation of CRY2 expression.
Project description:Disturbances of circadian rhythms are a key symptom of mood and anxiety disorders. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - commonly used antidepressant drugs - also modulate aspects of circadian rhythmicity. However, their potential to restore circadian disturbances in depression remains to be investigated.The effects of the SSRI fluoxetine on genetically based, depression-related circadian disruptions at the behavioral and molecular level were examined using mice selectively bred for high anxiety-related and co-segregating depression-like behavior (HAB) and normal anxiety/depression behavior mice (NAB).The length of the circadian period was increased in fluoxetine-treated HAB as compared to NAB mice while the number of activity bouts and light-induced entrainment were comparable. No difference in hippocampal Cry2 expression, previously reported to be dysbalanced in untreated HAB mice, was observed, while Per2 and Per3 mRNA levels were higher in HAB mice under fluoxetine treatment.The present findings provide evidence that fluoxetine treatment normalizes disrupted circadian locomotor activity and clock gene expression in a genetic mouse model of high trait anxiety and depression. An interaction between the molecular mechanisms mediating the antidepressant response to fluoxetine and the endogenous regulation of circadian rhythms in genetically based mood and anxiety disorders is proposed.
Project description:SIRT1 polymorphisms have previously been associated with depressive and anxiety disorders. We aimed at confirming these earlier findings and extending the analyses to seasonal variations in mood and behavior. Three tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected to capture the common variation in the SIRT1 gene. 5910 individuals (with blood sample, diagnostic interview, self-report of on seasonal changes in mood and behavior) were selected from a representative Finnish nationwide population-based sample. Logistic and linear regression models were used to analyze the associations between the SNPs and depressive and anxiety disorders, metabolic syndrome (EGIR criteria) and its components, and health examination measurements, Homeostasis Model Assessments, and diagnoses of type 2 and type 1 diabetes. SIRT1 rs2273773 showed evidence of association with seasonal variation in weight (C-allele, OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.76-0.95, p = 0.005). In addition, our study gave further support for the association of SIRT1 gene with depressive disorders (rs3758391) and diastolic blood pressure (rs2273773).
Project description:In mammals, the circadian clocks network (central and peripheral oscillators) controls circadian rhythms and orchestrates the expression of a range of downstream genes, allowing the organism to anticipate and adapt to environmental changes. Beyond their role in circadian rhythms, several studies have highlighted that circadian clock genes may have a more widespread physiological effect on cognition, mood, and reward-related behaviors. Furthermore, single nucleotide polymorphisms in core circadian clock genes have been associated with psychiatric disorders (such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). However, the underlying mechanisms of these associations remain to be ascertained and the cause-effect relationships are not clearly established. The objective of this article is to clarify the role of clock genes and altered sleep-wake rhythms in the development of psychiatric disorders (sleep problems are often observed at early onset of psychiatric disorders). First, the molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms are described. Then, the relationships between disrupted circadian rhythms, including sleep-wake rhythms, and psychiatric disorders are discussed. Further research may open interesting perspectives with promising avenues for early detection and therapeutic intervention in psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Generalized anxiety and major depression have become increasingly common in the United States, affecting 18.6 percent of the adult population. Mood disorders can be debilitating, and are often correlated with poor general health, life dissatisfaction, and the need for disability benefits due to inability to work. Recent evidence suggests that some mood disorders have a circadian component, and disruptions in circadian rhythms may even trigger the development of these disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms of this interaction are not well understood. Polymorphisms in a circadian clock-related gene, PER3, are associated with behavioral phenotypes (extreme diurnal preference in arousal and activity) and sleep/mood disorders, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Here we show that two PER3 mutations, a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) allele and a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), are associated with diurnal preference and higher Trait-Anxiety scores, supporting a role for PER3 in mood modulation. In addition, we explore a potential mechanism for how PER3 influences mood by utilizing a comprehensive circadian clock model that accurately predicts the changes in circadian period evident in knock-out phenotypes and individuals with PER3-related clock disorders.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Expression of the clock family of genes in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) regulates the molecular control of circadian timing. Increasing evidence also implicates clock gene activity in the development of mood disorders. In particular, variation in the PER3 clock gene has been shown to influence diurnal preference and sleep homeostasis. However, there is not currently a clear association between PER3 polymorphisms and mood. This is possibly because the PER3 gene has been shown to influence homeostatic sleep drive, rather than circadian timing, and the PER3 gene may be behaviorally relevant only under chronic sleep loss conditions.<h4>Methods</h4>To test the association between PER3 allele status and impaired mood, a total of 205 healthy women were genotyped for PER3 allele status and responded to previously-validated psychological questionnaires surveying self-reported sleep habits (MEQ, PSQI) and mood. Our mood measures included two measures of short-term, transient mood (state anxiety and mood disturbance) and two measures of longer term, ongoing mood (trait anxiety and depressive symptomology).<h4>Results</h4>The PER3 genotype distribution was 88 (42.9%) for PER3(4/4), 98 (47.8%) for PER3(4/5), and 19 (9.3%) for PER3(5/5). Our sleep duration x genotype interaction analyses showed that, relative to longer allele carriers, PER3(4/4) genotypes were at greater risk for transient psychological effects (mood and state anxiety) when they reported reduced sleep durations.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Sleep duration plays a critical role in understanding the extent to which PER3 allele status relates to mood states.
Project description:Disrupted circadian rhythms are a core feature of mood and anxiety disorders. Circadian rhythms are coordinated by a light-entrainable master clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Animal models of mood and anxiety disorders often exhibit blunted rhythms in locomotor activity and clock gene expression. Interestingly, the changes in circadian rhythms correlate with mood-related behaviours. Although animal models of depression and anxiety exhibit aberrant circadian rhythms in physiology and behavior, it is possible that the methodology being used to induce the behavioral phenotype (e.g., brain lesions, chronic stress, global gene deletion) affect behavior independently of circadian system. This study investigates the relationship between individual differences in circadian locomotor parameters and mood-related behaviors in healthy rats. The circadian phenotype of male Lewis rats was characterized by analyzing wheel running behavior under standard 12h:12h LD conditions, constant dark, constant light, and rate of re-entrainment to a phase advance. Rats were then tested on a battery of behavioral tests: activity box, restricted feeding, elevated plus maze, forced swim test, and fear conditioning. Under 12h:12h LD conditions, percent of daily activity in the light phase and variability in activity onset were associated with longer latency to immobility in the forced swim test. Variability in onset also correlated positively with anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze. Rate of re-entrainment correlated positively with measures of anxiety in the activity box and elevated plus maze. Lastly, we found that free running period under constant dark was associated with anxiety-like behaviors in the activity box and elevated plus maze. Our results provide a previously uncharacterized relationship between circadian locomotor parameters and mood-related behaviors in healthy rats and provide a basis for future examination into circadian clock functioning and mood.
Project description:Major depressive disorder is associated with disturbed circadian rhythms. To investigate the causal relationship between mood disorders and circadian clock disruption, previous studies in animal models have employed light/dark manipulations, global mutations of clock genes, or brain area lesions. However, light can impact mood by noncircadian mechanisms; clock genes have pleiotropic, clock-independent functions; and brain lesions not only disrupt cellular circadian rhythms but also destroy cells and eliminate important neuronal connections, including light reception pathways. Thus, a definitive causal role for functioning circadian clocks in mood regulation has not been established.We stereotactically injected viral vectors encoding short hairpin RNA to knock down expression of the essential clock gene Bmal1 into the brain's master circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).In these SCN-specific Bmal1-knockdown (SCN-Bmal1-KD) mice, circadian rhythms were greatly attenuated in the SCN, while the mice were maintained in a standard light/dark cycle, SCN neurons remained intact, and neuronal connections were undisturbed, including photic inputs. In the learned helplessness paradigm, the SCN-Bmal1-KD mice were slower to escape, even before exposure to inescapable stress. They also spent more time immobile in the tail suspension test and less time in the lighted section of a light/dark box. The SCN-Bmal1-KD mice also showed greater weight gain, an abnormal circadian pattern of corticosterone, and an attenuated increase of corticosterone in response to stress.Disrupting SCN circadian rhythms is sufficient to cause helplessness, behavioral despair, and anxiety-like behavior in mice, establishing SCN-Bmal1-KD mice as a new animal model of depression.