Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Rhythms. 1998 Dec;13(6):506-17.

Phase shift magnitude and direction determine whether Siberian hamsters reentrain to the photocycle.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, CA 94305, USA.


Body temperature (Tb) or activity rhythms were monitored in male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) housed in an LD cycle of 16 h light/day from birth. At 3 months of age, rhythms were monitored for 14 days, and then the LD cycle was phase delayed by 1, 3, or 5 h or phase advanced by 5 h in four separate groups of animals. Phase delays were accomplished via a 1- or 3-h extension of the light phase or via a 5-h extension of the dark phase. The phase advance was accomplished via a 5-h shortening of the light phase. After 2 to 3 weeks, hamsters that were phase delayed by 1 or 3 h were then phase advanced by 1 or 3 h, respectively, via a shortening of the light phase. All of the animals reentrained to phase delays of 1 or 3 h and to a 1-h phase advance; 79% reentrained to a 3-h phase advance. In contrast, only 13% of the animals reentrained to the 5-h phase advance, 13% became arrhythmic, and 74% free ran for several weeks. After the 5-h phase delay, however, reentrainment was observed in 50% of the animals although half of them required more than 21 days to reentrain. The response to a phase shift could not be predicted by any parameter of circadian rhythm organization assessed prior to the phase shift. These data demonstrate that a phase shift of the LD cycle can permanently disrupt entrainment mechanisms and eliminate circadian Tb and activity rhythms. Magnitude and direction of a phase shift of the LD cycle determine not only the rate but also the probability of reentrainment. Furthermore, the phase of the LD cycle at which the phase shift is made has a marked effect on the proportion of animals that reentrain. Light exposure during mid-subjective night combined with daily light exposure during the active phase may explain these phenomena.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center