bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2019‒05‒12
three papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019 May 09.
      Feeding, which is essential for all animals, is regulated by homeostatic mechanisms. In addition, food consumption is temporally coordinated by the brain over the circadian (~24 h) cycle. A network of circadian clocks set daily windows during which food consumption can occur. These daily windows mostly overlap with the active phase. Brain clocks that ensure the circadian control of food intake include a master light-entrainable clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus and secondary clocks in hypothalamic and brainstem regions. Metabolic hormones, circulating nutrients and visceral neural inputs transmit rhythmic cues that permit (via close and reciprocal molecular interactions that link metabolic processes and circadian clockwork) brain and peripheral organs to be synchronized to feeding time. As a consequence of these complex interactions, growing evidence shows that chronodisruption and mistimed eating have deleterious effects on metabolic health. Conversely, eating, even eating an unbalanced diet, during the normal active phase reduces metabolic disturbances. Therefore, in addition to energy intake and dietary composition, appropriately timed meal patterns are critical to prevent circadian desynchronization and limit metabolic risks. This Review provides insight into the dual modulation of food intake by homeostatic and circadian processes, describes the mechanisms regulating feeding time and highlights the beneficial effects of correctly timed eating, as opposed to the negative metabolic consequences of mistimed eating.
  2. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019 May 01. pii: S1043-2760(19)30065-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Research over the past century indicates that the daily timing of physical activity impacts on both immediate performance and long-term training efficacy. Recently, several molecular connections between circadian clocks and exercise physiology have been identified. Circadian clocks are protein-based oscillators that enable anticipation of daily environmental cycles. Cell-autonomous clocks are present in almost all cells of the body, and their timing is set by a variety of internal and external signals, including hormones and dietary intake. Improved understanding of the relationship between molecular clocks and exercise will benefit professional athletes and public health guidelines for the general population. We discuss here the role of circadian clocks in exercise, and explore time-of-day effects and the proposed molecular and physiological mechanisms.
    Keywords:  chronotype; circadian; exercise; metabolism; nuclear receptors
  3. Sci Rep. 2019 May 09. 9(1): 7174
      Deficiency of the sleep-wake cycle can accelerate the progression of Huntington's disease (HD) and exacerbate symptoms making it a target of investigation to better understand the molecular pathology of the disorder. In this study we analyzed sleep defects in a Drosophila model of HD and investigated whether disturbed sleep coincides with alterations in the molecular mechanism controlling circadian rhythm. To analyze sleep defects we recorded the daily activity of flies in 12:12 hours light:dark entrainment and in regard to the underlying molecular mechanism measured circadian "clock" gene expression. In HD flies we observed reduced amount of sleep, sleep fragmentation and prolonged sleep latency. We found changes in gene expression patterns of both transcriptional feedback loops of circadian regulation. We detected prolonged expression of the core feedback loop components period and timeless, whilst the secondary feedback loop member vrille had lower expression rates in general. Our results show that the Drosophila HD model recapitulates most of the sleep related symptoms reported in patients therefore it can be a potential tool to study the molecular background of sleep defects in HD. Altered expression of circadian "clock" genes suggests that disturbed sleep pattern in HD might be the consequence of disturbed circadian regulation.