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The Role of Molecular Clock Genes in Astrocytes of the Nucleus Accumbens in Reward- and Mood-Related Behavior in Mice

Published:September 19, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.06.039
      As an adaptation to life on Earth, mammalian physiology dramatically changes through the duration of the day, and these temporal programs are regulated by an internal timekeeping system (
      • Becker-Krail D.D.
      • Ketchesin K.D.
      • Burns J.N.
      • Zong W.
      • Hildebrand M.A.
      • DePoy L.M.
      • et al.
      Astrocyte molecular clock function in the nucleus accumbens is important for reward-related behavior.
      ). A recent publication by Becker-Krail et al. (
      • Becker-Krail D.D.
      • Ketchesin K.D.
      • Burns J.N.
      • Zong W.
      • Hildebrand M.A.
      • DePoy L.M.
      • et al.
      Astrocyte molecular clock function in the nucleus accumbens is important for reward-related behavior.
      ) explored the importance of the molecular clock gene Bmal1 in a brain region involved in reward- and mood-related behavior. However, the publication includes a bold claim. The authors falsely state that the described work is the first to explore the role of the circadian system in astrocytes of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In fact, we have previously described the role of the molecular clock gene Per2 in glia of the NAc in mood-related behavior (
      • Martini T.
      • Ripperger J.A.
      • Stalin J.
      • Kores A.
      • Stumpe M.
      • Albrecht U.
      Deletion of the clock gene Period2 (Per2) in glial cells alters mood-related behavior in mice.
      ), and some of the experimental approaches that we used were repeated by Becker-Krail et al., such as delivery of Gfap-driven Cre with stereotactic injections into the NAc and the use of an elevated maze test.
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      References

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        • Ketchesin K.D.
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        • Zong W.
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        • DePoy L.M.
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        Astrocyte molecular clock function in the nucleus accumbens is important for reward-related behavior.
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        • Stalin J.
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        Deletion of the clock gene Period2 (Per2) in glial cells alters mood-related behavior in mice.
        Sci Rep. 2021; 1112242
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      Linked Article

      • Astrocyte Molecular Clock Function in the Nucleus Accumbens Is Important for Reward-Related Behavior
        Biological PsychiatryVol. 92Issue 1
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          Substance use disorders are associated with disruptions in circadian rhythms. Both human and animal work have shown the integral role for circadian clocks in the modulation of reward behaviors. Astrocytes have emerged as key regulators of circadian rhythmicity. However, no studies to date have identified the role of circadian astrocyte function in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a hub for reward regulation, or determined the importance of these rhythms for reward-related behavior.
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      • Reply to: The Role of Molecular Clock Genes in Astrocytes of the Nucleus Accumbens in Reward- and Mood-Related Behavior in Mice
        Biological Psychiatry
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          We thank Dr. Martini (1) for the positive review of our study (2), and for drawing our attention to the Martini et al. article in Scientific Reports (3), which was published at the time that our article was submitted. We were not aware of this study at the time and find the results to be really interesting. The statement we made in our article was that “no studies to date have investigated NAc astrocyte rhythmicity in the NAc and/or its potential role in regulating NAc function in the context of reward.” In light of the article published by Martini et al.
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