Environmental Circadian Disruption Worsens Neurologic Impairment and Inhibits Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Adult Rats After Traumatic Brain Injury

Dongpeng Li, Shanshan Ma, Dewei Guo, Tian Cheng, Hongwei Li, Yi Tian, Jianbin Li, Fangxia Guan, Bo Yang, Jian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Circadian rhythms modulate many physiologic processes and behaviors. Therefore, their disruption causes a variety of potential adverse effects in humans and animals. Circadian disruption induced by constant light exposure has been discovered to produce pathophysiologic consequences after brain injury. However, the underlying mechanisms that lead to more severe impairment and disruption of neurophysiologic processes are not well understood. Here, we evaluated the effect of constant light exposure on the neurobehavioral impairment and survival of neurons in rats after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sixty adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were subjected to a weight-drop model of TBI and then exposed to either a standard 12-/12-h light/dark cycle or a constant 24-h light/light cycle for 14 days. Our results showed that 14 days of constant light exposure after TBI significantly worsened the sensorimotor and cognitive deficits, which were associated with decreased body weight, impaired water and food intake, increased cortical lesion volume, and decreased neuronal survival. Furthermore, environmental circadian disruption inhibited cell proliferation and newborn cell survival and decreased immature cell production in rats subjected to the TBI model. We conclude that circadian disruption induced by constant light exposure worsens histologic and neurobehavioral impairment and inhibits neurogenesis in adult TBI rats. Our novel findings suggest that light exposure should be decreased and circadian rhythm reestablished in hospitalized TBI patients and that drugs and strategies that maintain circadian rhythm would offer a novel therapeutic option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1055
Number of pages11
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Circadian rhythms
  • Constant light
  • Hippocampus
  • Neurogenesis
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

Cite this