Repeated psychosocial stress at night affects the circadian activity rhythm of male mice

Manuela S. Bartlang, Henrik Oster, Charlotte Helfrich-Förster*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
6 Zitate (Scopus)


We have recently shown that molecular rhythms in the murine suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are affected by repeated social defeat (SD) during the dark/active phase (social defeat dark [SDD]), while repeated SD during the light/inactive phase (social defeat light [SDL]) had no influence on PERIOD2::LUCIFERASE explant rhythms in the SCN. Here we assessed the effects of the same stress paradigm by in vivo biotelemetry on 2 output rhythms of the circadian clock (i.e., activity and core body temperature) in wild-type (WT) and clock-deficient Period (Per)1/2 double-mutant mice during and following repeated SDL and SDD. In general, stress had more pronounced effects on activity compared to body temperature rhythms. Throughout the SD procedure, activity and body temperature were markedly increased during the 2 h of stressor exposure at zeitgeber time (ZT) 1 to ZT3 (SDL mice) and ZT13 to ZT15 (SDD mice), which was compensated by decreased activity during the remaining dark phase (SDL and SDD mice) and light phase (SDL mice) in both genotypes. Considerable differences in the activity between SDL and SDD mice were seen in the poststress period. SDD mice exhibited a reduced first activity bout at ZT13, delayed activity onset, and, consequently, a more narrow activity bandwidth compared with single-housed control (SHC) and SDL mice. Given that this effect was absent in Per1/2 mutant SDD mice and persisted under constant darkness conditions in SDD WT mice, it suggests an involvement of the endogenous clock. Taken together, the present findings demonstrate that SDD has long-lasting consequences for the functional output of the biological clock that, at least in part, appear to depend on the clock genes Per1 and Per2.

ZeitschriftJournal of Biological Rhythms
Seiten (von - bis)228-241
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.01.2015


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