Chronic social stress blunts core body temperature and molecular rhythms of Rbm3 and Cirbp in mouse lateral habenula

Salma Haniffa, Priyam Narain, Michelle Ann Hughes, Aleksa Petković, Marko Šušić, Vongai Mlambo, Dipesh Chaudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic social stress in mice causes behavioural and physiological changes that result in perturbed rhythms of body temperature, activity and sleep-wake cycle. To further understand the link between mood disorders and temperature rhythmicity in mice that are resilient or susceptible to stress, we measured core body temperature (Tcore) before and after exposure to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS). We found that Tcore amplitudes of stress-resilient and susceptible mice are dampened during exposure to CSDS. However, following CSDS, resilient mice recovered temperature amplitude faster than susceptible mice. Furthermore, the interdaily stability (IS) of temperature rhythms was fragmented in stress-exposed mice during CSDS, which recovered to control levels following stress. There were minimal changes in locomotor activity after stress exposure which correlates with regular rhythmic expression of Prok2 - an output signal of the suprachiasmatic nucleus. We also determined that expression of thermosensitive genes Rbm3 and Cirbp in the lateral habenula (LHb) were blunted 1 day after CSDS. Rhythmic expression of these genes recovered 10 days later. Overall, we show that CSDS blunts Tcore and thermosensitive gene rhythms. Tcore rhythm recovery is faster in stress-resilient mice, but Rbm3 and Cirbp recovery is uniform across the phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number220380
JournalOpen Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 19 2023


  • chronic stress
  • lateral habenula
  • mood disorder
  • suprachiasmatic nucleus
  • temperature rhythms
  • thermosensitive gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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