The role of dopamine in mood disorders and the associated changes in circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycle

Basma Radwan, He Liu, Dipesh Chaudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Dopamine is primarily produced in the substantia nigra (SN) and the ventral tegmentum area (VTA) in the brain. It plays a well-established role in the motor control, reward, mood regulation and addiction behaviour. Dopamine release has been shown to be regulated by the circadian clock and hence, plays a regulatory role in the sleep-wake cycle. Clinically, dopaminergic agents have been widely used to modulate alertness. The following review offers a demonstration of the heterogeneous dopamine system in the brain and the various studies investigating the circadian rhythmicity of the dopamine system and its regulation of sleep-wake behaviour. Additionally, it suggests a potential link between the circadian clock and the sleep-wake cycle in mood regulation through the dopaminergic system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019



  • Circadian rhythms
  • Dopamine
  • Mood disorders
  • Sleep-wake cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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