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Open Access Research

A dynamic model of circadian rhythms in rodent tail skin temperature for comparison of drug effects

Dorothee Girbig1, Karsten Keller2, Katja Prelle3, Vladimir Patchev4, Richardus Vonk5 and Bernd-Wolfgang Igl5*

Author Affiliations

1 Bioinformatics Group, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam, Germany

2 Institute of Mathematics, University of Lübeck, Germany

3 Toxicology, Global Early Development, Bayer HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany

4 TRG Women's Healthcare, Global Drug Discovery, Bayer HealthCare, Berlin, Germany

5 Global Drug Discovery Statistics and Experimental Medicine Statistics, Bayer HealthCare, Berlin, Germany

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Journal of Circadian Rhythms 2012, 10:1  doi:10.1186/1740-3391-10-1

Published: 5 January 2012


Menopause-associated thermoregulatory dysfunction can lead to symptoms such as hot flushes severely impairing quality of life of affected women. Treatment effects are often assessed by the ovariectomized rat model providing time series of tail skin temperature measurements in which circadian rhythms are a fundamental ingredient. In this work, a new statistical strategy is presented for analyzing such stochastic-dynamic data with the aim of detecting successful drugs in hot flush treatment. The circadian component is represented by a nonlinear dynamical system which is defined by the van der Pol equation and provides well-interpretable model parameters. Results regarding the statistical evaluation of these parameters are presented.