Genetics of circadian rhythms and mood spectrum disorders

Inserm, U955, Créteil 94000, France.
European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 5.4). 08/2011; 21 Suppl 4:S676-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2011.07.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mood spectrum disorders (bipolar disorder, recurrent depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder) are accompanied by circadian deregulations, which can occur during acute mood episodes as well as during euthymic periods, and are particularly common among bipolar patients in remission. This suggests that altered circadian rhythms may be biological markers of these disorders. Rhythm dysfunctions have been observed in mood disorder patients by using actigraphic measures and by assessing social metric rhythms, diurnal preferences and melatonin secretion. Since many of these markers are heritable and therefore driven by clock genes, these genes may represent susceptibility factors for mood spectrum disorders. Indeed, several genetic association studies have suggested that certain circadian gene variants play a role in susceptibility to these disorders. Such connections to circadian genes such as CLOCK, ARNTL1, NPAS2, PER3 and NR1D1 have been repeatedly demonstrated for bipolar disorders, and to a lesser extent for recurrent depressive disorders and seasonal affective disorders. The study of circadian phenotypes and circadian genes in mood spectrum disorders represents a major field of research that may yet reveal the pathophysiological determinants of these disorders.

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