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Maroni, M. J., Capri, K. M., Arruda, N. L., Gelineau, R. R., Deane, H. V., Concepcion, H. A., et al. (2020). Substrain specific behavioral responses in male C57BL/6N and C57BL/6J mice to a shortened 21-hour day and high-fat diet. Chronobiol Int, in press.
Abstract: Altered circadian rhythms have negative consequences on health and behavior. Emerging evidence suggests genetics influences the physiological and behavioral responses to circadian disruption. We investigated the effects of a 21 h day (T = 21 cycle), with high-fat diet consumption, on locomotor activity, explorative behaviors, and health in male C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mice. Mice were exposed to either a T = 24 or T = 21 cycle and given standard rodent chow (RC) or a 60% high-fat diet (HFD) followed by behavioral assays and physiological measures. We uncovered numerous strain differences within the behavioral and physiological assays, mainly that C57BL/6J mice exhibit reduced susceptibility to the obesogenic effects of (HFD) and anxiety-like behavior as well as increased circadian and novelty-induced locomotor activity compared to C57BL/6N mice. There were also substrain-specific differences in behavioral responses to the T = 21 cycle, including exploratory behaviors and circadian locomotor activity. Under the 21-h day, mice consuming RC displayed entrainment, while mice exposed to HFD exhibited a lengthening of activity rhythms. In the open-field and light-dark box, mice exposed to the T = 21 cycle had increased novelty-induced locomotor activity with no further effects of diet, suggesting daylength may affect mood-related behaviors. These results indicate that different circadian cycles impact metabolic and behavioral responses depending on genetic background, and despite circadian entrainment.