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A novel technique for measuring circadian rhythms of total movement using labview image acquisition measurements of light-induced phase shifts with and without running wheels



A novel technique for measuring circadian rhythms of total movement using labview image acquisition measurements of light-induced phase shifts with and without running wheels



Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 26(1-2): Abstract No -76 34



Running wheel activity is a simple method of measuring circadian behavior in rodents. Intense wheel activity (miles each night for a mouse) may, however, influence the circadian pacemaker and attenuate its response to light. To determine whether this activity influences the circadian system in C57BL/6 mice, we developed a technique to measure rhythms of total movement. We designed an image acquisition/processing system using LabView (v 4.1) an image-capture board (PCI-1408) and IR-sensitive video cameras. Infrared LED's provided "illumination" to detect mice in darkness. Images of individual mice (in cages) were captured at 3 s intervals. Differences between images were detected as movement. Data were analyzed using Chronobiology Kit (Stanford Software). We "validated" our assay by comparing rhythms of total movement to data obtained using wheels. We tested the effects of wheel activity on circadian rhythms of total movement and the sensitivity of these rhythms to light. Mice with wheels were much more active than mice without (6.0+-0.6 h/day v. 3.5+-0.6 h/day without wheel, N=12, P<0.05). Even so, there was no significant influence of wheel activity on freerunning periods of movement rhythms (wheel: 23.80+-0.04; no wheel: 23.84+-0.02 h; N=23; P=0.30). Responsiveness to light at CT 16 (800lux,1h) was slightly smaller for mice without wheels (phase delays in wheel=117+-10 min; no wheel=91+-7 min, N=21, P=0.04). The small but significant influence of wheel activity on light phase shifts is opposite in direction to that predicted: wheel activity appeared to slightly increase responses to light.

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