Document Detail

Recording and Analysis of Circadian Rhythms in Running-wheel Activity in Rodents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23380887     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
When rodents have free access to a running wheel in their home cage, voluntary use of this wheel will depend on the time of day(1-5). Nocturnal rodents, including rats, hamsters, and mice, are active during the night and relatively inactive during the day. Many other behavioral and physiological measures also exhibit daily rhythms, but in rodents, running-wheel activity serves as a particularly reliable and convenient measure of the output of the master circadian clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. In general, through a process called entrainment, the daily pattern of running-wheel activity will naturally align with the environmental light-dark cycle (LD cycle; e.g. 12 hr-light:12 hr-dark). However circadian rhythms are endogenously generated patterns in behavior that exhibit a ~24 hr period, and persist in constant darkness. Thus, in the absence of an LD cycle, the recording and analysis of running-wheel activity can be used to determine the subjective time-of-day. Because these rhythms are directed by the circadian clock the subjective time-of-day is referred to as the circadian time (CT). In contrast, when an LD cycle is present, the time-of-day that is determined by the environmental LD cycle is called the zeitgeber time (ZT). Although circadian rhythms in running-wheel activity are typically linked to the SCN clock(6-8), circadian oscillators in many other regions of the brain and body(9-14) could also be involved in the regulation of daily activity rhythms. For instance, daily rhythms in food-anticipatory activity do not require the SCN(15,16) and instead, are correlated with changes in the activity of extra-SCN oscillators(17-20). Thus, running-wheel activity recordings can provide important behavioral information not only about the output of the master SCN clock, but also on the activity of extra-SCN oscillators. Below we describe the equipment and methods used to record, analyze and display circadian locomotor activity rhythms in laboratory rodents.
Michael Verwey; Barry Robinson; Shimon Amir
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2013-01-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1940-087X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Vis Exp     Publication Date:  2013  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-02-05     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101313252     Medline TA:  J Vis Exp     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  IM    
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University.
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