Neurobiology of disease

Circadian rhythm disruption in a mouse model of Rett syndrome circadian disruption in RTT.

PMID 25779967


Disturbances in the sleep/wake cycle are prevalent in patients with Rett syndrome (RTT). We sought to determine whether the circadian system is disrupted in a RTT model, Mecp2(-/y) mice. We found that MeCP2 mutants showed decreased strength and precision of daily rhythms of activity coupled with extremely fragmented sleep. The central circadian clock (suprachiasmatic nucleus) exhibited significant reduction in the number of neurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) as well as compromised spontaneous neural activity. The molecular clockwork was disrupted both centrally in the SCN and in peripheral organs, indicating a general disorganization of the circadian system. Disruption of the molecular clockwork was observed in fibroblasts of RTT patients. Finally, MeCP2 mutant mice were vulnerable to circadian disruption as chronic jet lag accelerated mortality. Our finds suggest an integral role of MeCP2 in the circadian timing system and provides a possible mechanistic explanation for the sleep/wake distrubances observed in RTT patients. The work raises the possibility that RTT patients may benefit from a temporally structured environment.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Dexamethasone-Water Soluble, suitable for cell culture, BioReagent