Wheel-running and rest activity pattern interaction in two octodontids (Octodon degus, Octodon bridgesi)
Wheel-running and other non-photic stimuli influence the rest-activity pattern of diurnal and nocturnal mammals. A day to night inversion of phase preference of activity was described among Octodon degus, when exposed to ad-libitum wheel running. We have studied the rest-activity pattern response in presence of ad libitum wheel-running in wild-captured male individuals from two species of genus Octodon: O. degus (n=9, crepuscular-diurnal) and O. bridgesi (n=3, nocturnal). After two months of habituation to laboratory conditions, recordings were performed in isolation chambers under a 12:12 light-dark schedule with or without access to a running wheel. Actograms were constructed from data obtained by an automated acquisition system. O. bridgesi were also recorded under constant darkness, with or without access to wheel-running. Entrained to the light-dark schedule, a crepuscular pattern of activity was evident for O. degus, whereas O. bridgesi displayed a robust nocturnal chronotype. The activity of O. degus observed during the dark phase was enhanced when wheel-running was allowed. No significant change in phase preference was observed for O. bridgesi when wheel-running was allowed. A lengthening of endogenous period was observed in O. bridgesi after wheel-running exposure under constant darkness. Nocturnal and diurnal octodontids exhibit different masking responses to wheel-running.