The role of the circadian clock in animal models of mood disorders

Behav Neurosci. 2014 Jun;128(3):344-59. doi: 10.1037/a0036029. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


An association between circadian clock function and mood regulation is well established and has been proposed as a factor in the development of mood disorders. Patients with depression or mania suffer disturbed sleep-wake cycles and altered rhythms in daily activities. Environmentally disrupted circadian rhythms increase the risk of mood disorders in the general population. However, proof that a disturbance of circadian rhythms is causally involved in the development of psychiatric disorders remains elusive. Using clock gene mutants, manipulations of sleep-wake and light-dark cycles, and brain lesions affecting clock function, animal models have been developed to investigate whether circadian rhythm disruptions alter mood. In this review, selected animal models are examined to address the issue of causality between circadian rhythms and affective behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks / genetics
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm Signaling Peptides and Proteins / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / genetics
  • Mood Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Mutation
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Photoperiod
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / physiology


  • Circadian Rhythm Signaling Peptides and Proteins