Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jun 15;73(12):1164-71. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.07.020. Epub 2012 Aug 18.

Mechanisms of rapid antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation therapy: clock genes and circadian rhythms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, California, USA.


A significant subset of both major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder patients rapidly (within 24 hours) and robustly improves with the chronotherapeutic intervention of sleep deprivation therapy (SDT). Major mood disorder patients are reported to have abnormal circadian rhythms including temperature, hormonal secretion, mood, and particularly sleep. These rhythms are modulated by the clock gene machinery and its products. It is hypothesized that SDT resets abnormal clock gene machinery, that relapse of depressive symptoms during recovery night sleep reactivates abnormal clock gene machinery, and that supplemental chronotherapies and medications can block relapse and help stabilize circadian-related improvement. The central circadian clock genes, BMAL1/CLOCK (NPAS2), bind to Enhancer Boxes to initiate the transcription of circadian genes, including the period genes (per1, per2, per3). It is suggested that a defect in BMAL1/CLOCK (NPAS2) or in the Enhancer Box binding contributes to altered circadian function associated, in part, with the period genes. The fact that chronotherapies, including SDT and sleep phase advance, are dramatically effective suggests that altered clock gene machinery may represent a core pathophysiological defect in a subset of mood disorder patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center