January 22, 2021

Circadian Rhythm Disruption Results in Visual Dysfunction

Circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) contributes to the development of multiple metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. However, its effect on vision is not understood. We evaluated the impact of CRD on retinal morphology, physiology, and vision after housing mice in a disruption inducing shorter light/dark cycle (L10:D10). Interestingly, the mice under L10:D10 exhibited three different entrainment behaviors; ‘entrained’, ‘freerunning’, and ‘zigzagging.’ These behavior groups under CRD exhibited reduced visual acuity, retinal thinning, and a decrease in the number of rod photoreceptors. Intriguingly, the electroretinogram response was decreased only in the mice exhibiting ‘entrained’ behavior. The retinal proteome showed distinct changes with each entrainment behavior. These results demonstrate that CRD leads to photoreceptor degeneration and visual dysfunction. We uniquely show the effect of entrainment behavior on retinal protein composition and physiology. Our data has broader implications in understanding and mitigating the effect of CRD on vision health.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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