Data demonstrate that abnormal regulation of the circadian system can result in cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, immune dysfunction, increased risk for cancer, reproductive complications, etc. It is highly individual among depressed patients and may be expressed as a phase advance or phase delay of rhythms and/or increase or decrease in the amplitude. The stress-induced anhedonic-like state characterizes by hypothermia, hypercortisolemia, and hypermelatoninemia associated with disturbances in the circadian system. Mainly Per2 and Bmal1 demonstrate altered expression in the brain and liver: expression of Per2 is sensitive to stress and changes in Bmal1 mostly associated with depressive behavior. The Per1 expression is sustainable in maintaining the circadian rhythm. A normalization of the expression patterns is likely to be essential for the recovery from the pathological state. Depression is a high prevalent disorder. The number of incidents is rising due to changes in lifestyle. The symptomatology is inconsistent and it is difficult to agree on one hypothesis. The disturbances of the 24 h circadian rhythm may be a factor in the development of major depressive disorder. The molecular biology underlying a causal relationship between circadian rhythm and mood disorders is slowly being unraveled. However, many questions still need to be answered.
Part of the book: Depression