Evaluation of circadian phenotypes utilizing fibroblasts from patients with circadian rhythm sleep disorders

Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Apr 25;7(4):e1106. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.75.


We evaluated the circadian phenotypes of patients with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD) and non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder (N24SWD), two different circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSDs) by measuring clock gene expression rhythms in fibroblast cells derived from individual patients. Bmal1-luciferase (Bmal1-luc) expression rhythms were measured in the primary fibroblast cells derived from skin biopsy samples of patients with DSWPD and N24SWD, as well as control subjects. The period length of the Bmal1-luc rhythm (in vitro period) was distributed normally and was 22.80±0.47 (mean±s.d.) h in control-derived fibroblasts. The in vitro periods in DSWPD-derived fibroblasts and N24SWD-derived fibroblasts were 22.67±0.67 h and 23.18±0.70 h, respectively. The N24SWD group showed a significantly longer in vitro period than did the control or DSWPD group. Furthermore, in vitro period was associated with response to chronotherapy in the N24SWD group. Longer in vitro periods were observed in the non-responders (mean±s.d.: 23.59±0.89 h) compared with the responders (mean±s.d.: 22.97±0.47 h) in the N24SWD group. Our results indicate that prolonged circadian periods contribute to the onset and poor treatment outcome of N24SWD. In vitro rhythm assays could be useful for predicting circadian phenotypes and clinical prognosis in patients with CRSDs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ARNTL Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Chronotherapy / methods
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / genetics*
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / physiopathology
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / therapy
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / metabolism*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • ARNTL protein, human
  • Luciferases