Altered affective behaviors in Casein kinase 1 epsilon mutant mice

Lili Zhou*, Karrie Fitzpatrick, Christopher Olker, Martha Hotz Vitaterna, Fred W. Turek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Affective behaviors and mental health are profoundly affected by disturbances in circadian rhythms. Casein kinase 1 epsilon (CSNK1E) is an essential component of the core circadian clock. Mice with tau or null mutation of this gene have shortened and lengthened circadian period respectively. Here we examined anxiety-like, fear, and depressive-like behaviors in both male and female mice of these two different mutants. Compared with wild-type mice, we found reductions in fear and anxiety-like behaviors in both mutant lines and in both sexes, with the tau mutants exhibiting the greatest phenotypic changes. However, the depressive-like behaviors had distinct phenotypic patterns, with markedly less depressive-like behaviors in female null mutants, but not in tau mutants of either sex. To determine whether abnormal light entrainment of tau mutants to 24 hour light-dark cycles contributes to these phenotypic differences, we also examined these behaviors in tau mutants on a 20 hour light-dark cycle close to their endogenous circadian period. The normalized entrainment restored more wild-type-like behaviors for fear and anxiety, but it induced depressive-like behavior in tau mutant females. These data show that both mutations of Csnk1e broadly affect fear and anxiety-like behaviors, while the effects on depressive-like behavior vary with genetics, photoperiod, and sex, suggesting that the mechanisms by which Csnk1e affects fear and anxiety-like behaviors may be similar, but distinct from those affecting depressive-like behavior. Our study also provides experimental evidence in support of the hypothesis of beneficial outcomes from properly entrained circadian rhythms in terms of the anxiety-like and fear behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jun 27 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Csnk1e
  • Depression
  • Fear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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