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Psychiatry Investig. 2018 Jul;15(7):717-726. doi: 10.30773/pi.2018.01.18.2. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Electroconvulsive Seizure Alters the Expression and Daily Oscillation of Circadian Genes in the Rat Frontal Cortex.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Dongguk University International Hospital, Dongguk University Medical School, Goyang, Republic of Korea.
Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the most effective treatment for mood disorders. Accumulating evidence has suggested the important role of circadian genes in mood disorders. However, the effects of ECT on circadian genes have not been systemically investigated.


We examined the expression and daily oscillation of major circadian genes in the rat frontal cortex after electroconvulsive seizure (ECS).


Firstly, mRNA and protein level were investigated at 24 hr after single ECS (E1X) and repeated ECS treatements for 10 days (E10X), which showed more remarkable changes after E10X than E1X. mRNA expression of Rorα, Bmal1, Clock, Per1, and Cry1 was decreased, while Rev-erbα expression was increased at 24 hr after E10X compared to sham. The proteins showed similar pattern of changes. Next, the effects on oscillation and rhythm properties (mesor, amplitude, and acrophase) were examined, which also showed more prominent changes after E10X than E1X. After E10X, mesor of Rorα, Bmal1, and Cry1 was reduced, and that of Rev-erbα was increased. Five genes, Rev-erbα, Bmal1, Per1, Per2, and Cry2, showed earlier acrophase after E10X.


The findings suggest that repeated ECS induces reduced expression and phase advance of major circadian genes in the in vivo rat frontal cortex.


Circadian rhythm; Clock genes; Cortex; Electroconvulsive therapy

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