Differential susceptibility of BALB/c, C57BL/6N, and CF1 mice to photoperiod changes

Luísa K. Pilz Caroline L. Quiles Eliane Dallegrave Rosa Levandovski Maria Paz L. Hidalgo Elaine Elisabetsky About the authors


Circadian disturbances common to modern lifestyles have been associated with mood disorders. Animal models that mimic such rhythm disturbances are useful in translational research to explore factors contributing to depressive disorders. This study aimed to verify the susceptibility of BALB/c, C57BL/6N, and CF1 mice to photoperiod changes.


Thermochron iButtons implanted in the mouse abdomen were used to characterize temperature rhythms. Mice were maintained under a 12:12 h light-dark (LD) cycle for 15 days, followed by a 10:10 h LD cycle for 10 days. Cosinor analysis, Rayleigh z test, periodograms, and Fourier analysis were used to analyze rhythm parameters. Paired Student's t test was used to compare temperature amplitude, period, and power of the first harmonic between normal and shortened cycles.


The shortened LD cycle significantly changed temperature acrophases and rhythm amplitude in all mouse strains, but only BALB/c showed altered period.


These findings suggest that BALB/c, the preferred strain for stress-induced models of depression, should also be favored for exploring the relationship between circadian rhythms and mood. Temperature rhythm proved to be a useful parameter for characterizing rhythm disruption in mice. Although disruption of temperature rhythm has been successfully documented in untethered mice, an evaluation of desynchronization of other rhythms is warranted.

Circadian dysregulation; mood disorders; core body temperature rhythms; mice

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