Circadian Clock Model Supports Molecular Link Between PER3 and Human Anxiety.
ABSTRACT: 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:A system of self-sustained biological clocks controls the 24-h rhythms of behavioral and physiological processes such as the sleep-wake cycle. The circadian clock system is regulated by transcriptional and translational negative feedback loops of multiple clock genes. Polymorphisms in circadian clock genes have been associated with morningness-eveningness (diurnal) preference, familial advanced sleep phase type (ASPT), and delayed sleep phase type (DSPT). We genotyped single-nucleotide polymorphisms in circadian clock genes in 182 DSPT individuals, 67 free-running type (FRT) individuals, and 925 controls. The clock gene polymorphisms were tested for associations with diurnal preference and circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD) phenotypes. The PER3 polymorphism (rs228697) was significantly associated with diurnal preference and the FRT phenotype. The minor allele of rs228697 was more prevalent in evening types than in morning types (sex-adjusted odds ratio (OR), 2.483, Bonferroni-corrected P = 0.012) and in FRT individuals compared with the controls (age- and sex-adjusted OR, 2.021, permutated P = 0.017). Our findings support the notion that PER3 polymorphisms could be a potential genetic marker for an individual's circadian and sleep phenotypes.
Project description:Polymorphisms in human clock genes have been evaluated as potential factors influencing circadian phenotypes in several populations. There are conflicting results for the association of a VNTR in the PER3 gene and diurnal preference in different studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between diurnal preference and daytime somnolence with the PER3 VNTR polymorphism (rs57875989) in healthy subjects from Colombia, a Latin American population.A total of 294 undergraduate university students from Bogotá, Colombia participated in this study. Two validated self-report questionnaires, the Composite Scale of Morningness (CSM) and the Epworth Sleep Scale (ESS) were used to assess diurnal preference and daytime somnolence, respectively. Individuals were genotyped for the PER3 VNTR using conventional PCR. Statistical comparisons were carried out with PLINK and SNPStats programs. The PER3 VNTR polymorphism was not associated with either diurnal preference or daytime somnolence in this population. No significant differences in mean scores for those scales were found between PER3 VNTR genotypes. In addition, there were no differences in allelic or genotypic frequencies between chronotype categories. This is consistent with several negative findings in other populations, indicating that the proposed influence of this polymorphism in diurnal preference, and related endophenotypes of neuropsychiatric importance, needs further clarification. This is the first report of molecular genetics of human circadian phenotypes in a Spanish-speaking population.
Project description:The period homolog genes Per1, Per2 and Per3 are important components of the circadian clock system. In addition to their role in maintaining circadian rhythm, these genes have been linked to mood disorders, stress response and vulnerability to addiction and alcoholism. In this study, we combined high-resolution sequence analysis and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping of gene expression and behavioral traits to identify Per3 as a compelling candidate for the interaction between circadian rhythm, alcohol and stress response. In the BXD family of mouse strains, sequence variants in Per3 have marked effects on steady-state mRNA and protein levels. As a result, the transcript maps as a cis-acting expression QTL (eQTL). We found that an insertion/deletion (indel) variant in a putative stress response element in the promoter region of Per3 causes local control of transcript abundance. This indel results in differences in protein binding affinities between the two alleles through the Nrf2 transcriptional activator. Variation in Per3 is also associated with downstream differences in the expression of genes involved in circadian rhythm, alcohol, stress response and schizophrenia. We found that the Per3 locus is linked to stress/anxiety traits, and that the basal expression of Per3 is also correlated with several anxiety and addiction-related phenotypes. Treatment with alcohol results in increased expression of Per3 in the hippocampus, and this effect interacts with acute restraint stress. Our data provide strong evidence that variation in the Per3 transcript is causally associated with and also responsive to stress and alcohol.
Project description:PER3 gene polymorphisms have been associated with differences in human sleep-wake phenotypes, and sensitivity to light. The aims of this study were to assess: i) the frequency of allelic variants at two PER3 polymorphic sites (rs57875989 length polymorphism: PER3 4, PER3 5; rs228697 SNP: PER3 C, PER3 G) in relation to sleep-wake timing; ii) the effect of morning light on behavioural/circadian variables in PER3 4 /PER3 4 and PER3 5 /PER3 5 homozygotes. 786 Caucasian subjects living in Northern Italy donated buccal DNA and completed diurnal preference, sleep quality/timing and sleepiness/mood questionnaires. 19 PER3 4 /PER3 4 and 11 PER3 5 /PER3 5 homozygotes underwent morning light administration, whilst monitoring sleep-wake patterns and the urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) rhythm. No significant relationship was observed between the length polymorphism and diurnal preference. By contrast, a significant association was observed between the PER3 G variant and morningness (OR?=?2.10), and between the PER3 G-PER3 4 haplotype and morningness (OR?=?2.19), for which a mechanistic hypothesis is suggested. No significant differences were observed in sleep timing/aMT6s rhythms between PER3 5 /PER3 5 and PER3 4 /PER3 4 subjects at baseline. After light administration, PER3 4 /PER3 4 subjects advanced their aMT6s acrophase (p?<?0.05), and showed a trend of advanced sleep-wake timing. In conclusion, significant associations were observed between PER3 polymorphic variants/their combinations and both diurnal preference and the response to light.
Project description:Polymorphisms in the human circadian clock gene PERIOD3 (PER3) are associated with a wide variety of phenotypes such as diurnal preference, delayed sleep phase disorder, sleep homeostasis, cognitive performance, bipolar disorder, type 2 diabetes, cardiac regulation, cancer, light sensitivity, hormone and cytokine secretion, and addiction. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these phenotypic associations remain unknown. Per3 knockout mice (Per3-/- ) have phenotypes related to activity, sleep homeostasis, anhedonia, metabolism, and behavioral responses to light. Using a protocol that induces behavioral differences in response to light in wild type and Per3-/- mice, we compared genome-wide expression in the eye and hypothalamus in the two genotypes. Differentially expressed transcripts were related to inflammation, taste, olfactory and melatonin receptors, lipid metabolism, cell cycle, ubiquitination, and hormones, as well as receptors and channels related to sleep regulation. Differentially expressed transcripts in both tissues co-localized with Per3 on an ?8Mbp region of distal chromosome 4. The most down-regulated transcript is Prdm16, which is involved in adipocyte differentiation and may mediate altered body mass accumulation in Per3-/- mice. eQTL analysis with BXD mouse strains showed that the expression of some of these transcripts and also others co-localized at distal chromosome 4, is correlated with brain tissue expression levels of Per3 with a highly significant linkage to genetic variation in that region. These data identify a cluster of transcripts on mouse distal chromosome 4 that are co-regulated with Per3 and whose expression levels correlate with those of Per3. This locus lies within a topologically associating domain island that contains many genes with functional links to several of the diverse non-circadian phenotypes associated with polymorphisms in human PER3.
Project description:Sleep and circadian rhythms are intrinsically linked, with several sleep traits, including sleep timing and duration, influenced by both sleep homeostasis and the circadian phase. Genetic variation in several circadian genes has been associated with diurnal preference (preference in timing of sleep), although there has been limited research on whether they are associated with other sleep measurements. We investigated whether these genetic variations were associated with diurnal preference (Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire) and various sleep measures, including: the global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality index score; sleep duration; and sleep latency and sleep quality. We genotyped 10 polymorphisms in genes with circadian expression in participants from the G1219 sample (n = 966), a British longitudinal population sample of young adults. We conducted linear regressions using dominant, additive and recessive models of inheritance to test for associations between these polymorphisms and the sleep measures. We found a significant association between diurnal preference and a polymorphism in period homologue 3 (PER3) (P < 0.005, recessive model) and a novel nominally significant association between diurnal preference and a polymorphism in aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like 2 (ARNTL2) (P < 0.05, additive model). We found that a polymorphism in guanine nucleotide binding protein beta 3 (GN?3) was associated significantly with global sleep quality (P < 0.005, recessive model), and that a rare polymorphism in period homologue 2 (PER2) was associated significantly with both sleep duration and quality (P < 0.0005, recessive model). These findings suggest that genes with circadian expression may play a role in regulating both the circadian clock and sleep homeostasis, and highlight the importance of further studies aimed at dissecting the specific roles that circadian genes play in these two interrelated but unique behaviours.
Project description:Per3 is one of the primary components of circadian clock system. While circadian dysregulation is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric diseases. It remains largely unknown whether they participate in embryonic brain development. Here, we examined the role of clock gene Per3 in the development of mouse cerebral cortex. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that Per3 is expressed in the developing mouse cortex. Acute knockdown of Per3 with in utero electroporation caused abnormal positioning of cortical neurons, which was rescued by RNAi-resistant Per3. Per3-deficient cells showed abnormal migration phenotypes, impaired axon extension and dendritic arbor formation. Taken together, Per3 was found to play a pivotal role in corticogenesis via regulation of excitatory neuron migration and synaptic network formation.
Project description:Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders (CRSWDs) are characterized by disturbed sleep-wake patterns. We genotyped a <i>PER3</i> variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) in 248 CRSWD individuals and 925 controls and found no significant association between the VNTR and CRSWDs or morningness-eveningness (diurnal) preferences in the Japanese population. Although the VNTR has been associated with circadian and sleep phenotypes in some other populations, the polymorphism may not be a universal genetic marker.
Project description:Several studies have shown that mutations and polymorphisms in clock genes are associated with abnormal circadian parameters in humans and also with more subtle non-pathological phenotypes like chronotypes. However, there have been conflicting results, and none of these studies analyzed the combined effects of more than one clock gene. Up to date, association studies in humans have focused on the analysis of only one clock gene per study. Since these genes encode proteins that physically interact with each other, combinations of polymorphisms in different clock genes could have a synergistic or an inhibitory effect upon circadian phenotypes. In the present study, we analyzed the combined effects of four polymorphisms in four clock genes (Per2, Per3, Clock and Bmal1) in people with extreme diurnal preferences (morning or evening). We found that a specific combination of polymorphisms in these genes is more frequent in people who have a morning preference for activity and there is a different combination in individuals with an evening preference for activity. Taken together, these results show that it is possible to detect clock gene interactions associated with human circadian phenotypes and bring an innovative idea of building a clock gene variation map that may be applied to human circadian biology.