In our previous study, quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis using mice with abnormal circadian rhythm detected a suggestive QTL, which affects the length of free-running period, on the distal region of Chromosome 19. Among the candidate genes, we have focused on Ikkα gene and found that Ikkα mRNA is expressed in the mammalian circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the present study. Expression of Ikkα mRNA in the SCN indicated the possibility that IKKα is involved in the regulation of circadian clock. Therefore, to examine the role of IKKα in the regulation of circadian rhythms, we have further examined wheel-running activity rhythms under light-dark cycle and constant darkness, and circadian response to light. However, we could not detect any statistically significant difference between IKKα+/- mice and wild type mice. Roles of IKKα in the regulation of circadian system remains to be clarified in the future study.
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