Bmal1 is the only single circadian clock gene that is essential for rhythmic gene expression in the mammalian circadian timing system. Genetic approaches targeting Bmal1 expression have been used to further assess its role in the circadian clock and to test for behavioral effects of clock disruption. In particular, disruptions in circadian clock function have been implicated in human mood disorders, and clock gene manipulation in mice may provide valuable models for studying depression-like behavior. In this review, we explore various approaches to manipulating Bmal1 in mouse models and review their effects on the brain's master circadian pacemaker, on circadian rhythmicity in other brain regions, and on circadian and mood-related behavior.
Keywords: Bmal1; behavior; circadian.