Unique food-entrained circadian rhythm in cysteine414-alanine mutant mCRY1 transgenic mice

Satoshi Okano, Akira Yasui, Kiyoshi Hayasaka, Osamu Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Food availability is a potent environmental cue that directs circadian locomotor activity in rodents. Daily scheduled restricted feeding (RF), in which the food available time is restricted for several hours each day, elicits anticipatory activity. This food-anticipatory activity (FAA) is controlled by a food-entrainable oscillator (FEO) that is distinct from the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker in mammals. In an earlier report, we described generation of transgenic (Tg) mice ubiquitously overexpressing cysteine414-alanine mutant mCRY1. The Tg mice displayed long locomotor free-running periods (approximately 28 h) with rhythm splitting. Furthermore, their locomotor activity immediately re-adjusted to the advance of light–dark cycles (LD), suggesting some disorder in the coupling of SCN neurons. The present study examined the restricted feeding cycle (RF)-induced entrainment of locomotor activity in Tg mice in various light conditions. In LD, wild-type controls showed both FAA and LD-entrained activities. In Tg mice, almost all activity was eventually consolidated to a single bout before the feeding time. The result suggests a possibility that in Tg mice the feeding cycle dominates the LD cycle as an entrainment agent. In constant darkness (DD), wild-type mice exhibited robust free-run activity and FAA during RF. For Tg mice, only the rhythm entrained to RF was observed in DD. Furthermore, after returning to free feeding, the free-run started from the RF-entrained phase. These results suggest that the SCN of Tg mice is entrainable to RF and that the mCRY1 mutation alters the sensitivity of SCN to the cycle of nonphotic zeitgebers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalSleep and Biological Rhythms
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Circadian clock
  • Food-anticipatory activity
  • Food-entrainable oscillator
  • Interneuronal coupling
  • Nonphotic zeitgeber
  • Restricted feeding cycle
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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