Shift work-like patterns effect on female and male mouse behavior

Neurobiol Sleep Circadian Rhythms. 2022 Oct 8;13:100082. doi: 10.1016/j.nbscr.2022.100082. eCollection 2022 Nov.


Shift work (work outside of standard daylight hours) is common throughout the Western world. However, there are notable health consequences to shift work, including increased prevalence of mental health and sleep disorders in shift worker populations. Therefore, the health and wellbeing of shift workers is a public health concern that needs to be addressed. Here we investigate the effects of two separate light induced shift work-like patterns on male and female mouse behaviour (anxiety-like, exploration, marble burying, startle reflex and circadian rhythms). After 6 weeks of shift-like disruptions patterns, animals displayed no behavioral differences in exploration, marble burying and startle reflex. Interestingly however, we identified sex specific and disruption specific effects in light aversion and wheel running activities. Notably, analysis of the activity patterns of animals in disruptive conditions demonstrated that they maintained a degree of rhythmicity through the disruption period, which may explain the lack of behavioral differences in most behavioral tests.

Keywords: Circadian rhythm; Mouse behavior; Shift-work.