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Chronobiol Int. 1999 Jul;16(4):431-40.

Forced desynchrony of circadian rhythms of body temperature and activity in rats.

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Department of Animal Behavior, University of Groningen, Haren, The Netherlands.


The daily rhythm in body temperature is thought to be the result of the direct effects of activity and the effects of an endogenous circadian clock. Forced desynchrony (FD) is a tool used in human circadian rhythm research to disentangle endogenous and activity-related effects on daily rhythms. In the present study, we applied an FD protocol to rats. We subjected 8 rats for 5 days to a 20 h forced activity cycle consisting of 10 h of forced wakefulness and 10 h for rest and sleep. The procedure aimed to introduce a 10 h sleep/10 h wake cycle, which period was different from the endogenous circadian (about 24 h) rhythm. Of the variation in the raw body temperature data, 68-77% could be explained by a summation of estimated endogenous circadian cycle and forced activity cycle components of body temperature. Free-running circadian periods of body temperature during FD were similar to free-running periods measured in constant conditions. The applied forced activity cycle reduced clock-related circadian modulation of activity. This reduction of circadian modulation of activity did not affect body temperature. Also, the effects of the forced activity on body temperature were remarkably small.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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