bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2020‒07‒19
eight papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jul 15. pii: gkaa601. [Epub ahead of print]
      Circadian clocks are endogenous oscillators that control ∼24-hour physiology and behaviors in virtually all organisms. The circadian oscillator comprises interconnected transcriptional and translational feedback loops, but also requires finely coordinated protein homeostasis including protein degradation and maturation. However, the mechanisms underlying the mammalian clock protein maturation is largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that necdin, one of the Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)-causative genes, is highly expressed in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the pacemaker of circadian clocks in mammals. Mice deficient in necdin show abnormal behaviors during an 8-hour advance jet-lag paradigm and disrupted clock gene expression in the liver. By using yeast two hybrid screening, we identified BMAL1, the core component of the circadian clock, and co-chaperone SGT1 as two necdin-interactive proteins. BMAL1 and SGT1 associated with the N-terminal and C-terminal fragments of necdin, respectively. Mechanistically, necdin enables SGT1-HSP90 chaperone machinery to stabilize BMAL1. Depletion of necdin or SGT1/HSP90 leads to degradation of BMAL1 through the ubiquitin-proteasome system, resulting in alterations in both clock gene expression and circadian rhythms. Taken together, our data identify the PWS-associated protein necdin as a novel regulator of the circadian clock, and further emphasize the critical roles of chaperone machinery in circadian clock regulation.
  2. Biol Lett. 2020 Jul;16(7): 20200257
      The circadian clock provides a mechanism for anticipating environmental cycles and is synchronized by temporal cues such as daily light/dark cycle or photoperiod. However, the Arctic environment is characterized by several months of Midnight Sun when the sun is continuously above the horizon and where sea ice further attenuates photoperiod. To test if the oscillations of circadian clock genes remain in synchrony with subtle environmental changes, we sampled the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, a key zooplankter in the north Atlantic, to determine in situ daily circadian clock gene expression near the summer solstice at a southern (74.5° N) sea ice-free and a northern (82.5° N) sea ice-covered station. Results revealed significant oscillation of genes at both stations, indicating the persistence of the clock at this time. While copepods from the southern station showed oscillations in the daily range, those from the northern station exhibited an increase in ultradian oscillations. We suggest that in C. finmarchicus, even small daily changes of solar altitude seem to be sufficient to entrain the circadian clock and propose that at very high latitudes, in under-ice ecosystems, tidal cues may be used as an additional entrainment cue.
    Keywords:  Arctic; Midnight Sun; circadian clock; copepod; sea ice; zooplankton
  3. Mol Metab. 2020 Jul 10. pii: S2212-8778(20)30124-1. [Epub ahead of print] 101050
      OBJECTIVE: Skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and energy metabolism displays day-night rhythmicity in healthy, young individuals. 24-h rhythmicity of metabolism has been implicated in the etiology of age-related metabolic disorders. Whether day-night rhythmicity in skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and energy metabolism is altered in older, metabolically comprised humans is so far unknown.METHODS: Twelve male overweight volunteers with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity stayed in a metabolic research unit for 2 days under free living conditions with regular meals. Indirect calorimetry was performed at five time points (8AM, 1PM, 6PM, 11PM, 4AM), followed by a muscle biopsy. Mitochondrial oxidative capacity was measured in permeabilized muscle fibers using high-resolution respirometry.
    RESULTS: Mitochondrial oxidative capacity did not display rhythmicity. The expression of circadian core clock genes BMAL1 and REV-ERBA showed a clear day-night rhythm (p < 0.001), peaking at the end of the waking period. Remarkably, the repressor clock gene PER2 did not show rhythmicity, whereas PER1 and PER3 were strongly rhythmic (p < 0.001). On the whole-body level resting energy expenditure was highest in the late evening (p < 0.001). Respiratory exchange ratio did not decrease in the night, indicating metabolic inflexibility.
    CONCLUSIONS: Mitochondrial oxidative capacity does not show a day-night rhythm in older, overweight participants with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. In addition, gene expression of PER2 in skeletal muscle indicates that rhythmicity of the negative feedback loop of the molecular clock is disturbed. ID: NCT03733743.
  4. J Neuroendocrinol. 2020 Jun 20. e12886
      Circadian rhythms play a critical role in the physiological processes involved in energy metabolism and energy balance (EB). A large array of metabolic processes, including the expression of many energy-regulating endocrine hormones, display temporal rhythms that are driven by both the circadian clock and food intake. Mealtime has been shown to be a compelling zeitgeber in peripheral tissue rhythms. Inconsistent signalling to the periphery, because of mismatched input from the central clock vs time of eating, results in circadian disruption in which central and/or peripheral rhythms are asynchronously time shifted or their amplitudes reduced. A growing body of evidence supports the negative health effects of circadian disruption, with strong evidence in murine models that mealtime-induced circadian disruption results in various metabolic consequences, including energy imbalance and weight gain. Increased weight gain has been reported to occur even without differences in energy intake, indicating an effect of circadian disruption on energy expenditure. However, the translation of these findings to humans is not well established because the ability to undertake rigorously controlled dietary studies that explore the chronic effects on energy regulation is challenging. Establishing the neuroendocrine changes in response to both acute and chronic variations in mealtime, along with observations in populations with routinely abnormal mealtimes, may provide greater insight into underlying mechanisms that influence long-term weight management under different meal patterns. Human studies should explore mechanisms through relevant biomarkers; for example, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin and other energy-regulating neuroendocrine factors. Mistiming between aggregate hormonal signals, or between hormones with their receptors, may cause reduced signalling intensity and hormonal resistance. Understanding how mealtimes may impact on the coordination of endocrine factors is essential for untangling the complex regulation of EB. Here a review is provided on current evidence of the impacts of mealtime on energy metabolism and the underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms, with a specific focus on human research.
    Keywords:  chrononutrition; circadian disruption; circadian rhythms; energy balance; energy expenditure
  5. Front Neurosci. 2020 ;14 636
      Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption (SCRD) is a common feature of schizophrenia, and is associated with symptom severity and patient quality of life. It is commonly manifested as disturbances to the sleep/wake cycle, with sleep abnormalities occurring in up to 80% of patients, making it one of the most common symptoms of this disorder. Severe circadian misalignment has also been reported, including non-24 h periods and phase advances and delays. In parallel, there are alterations to physiological circadian parameters such as body temperature and rhythmic hormone production. At the molecular level, alterations in the rhythmic expression of core clock genes indicate a dysfunctional circadian clock. Furthermore, genetic association studies have demonstrated that mutations in several clock genes are associated with a higher risk of schizophrenia. Collectively, the evidence strongly suggests that sleep and circadian disruption is not only a symptom of schizophrenia but also plays an important causal role in this disorder. The alterations in dopamine signaling that occur in schizophrenia are likely to be central to this role. Dopamine is well-documented to be involved in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle, in which it acts to promote wakefulness, such that elevated dopamine levels can disturb sleep. There is also evidence for the influence of dopamine on the circadian clock, such as through entrainment of the master clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), and dopamine signaling itself is under circadian control. Therefore dopamine is closely linked with sleep and the circadian system; it appears that they have a complex, bidirectional relationship in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, such that disturbances to one exacerbate abnormalities in the other. This review will provide an overview of the evidence for a role of SCRD in schizophrenia, and examine the interplay of this with altered dopamine signaling. We will assess the evidence to suggest common underlying mechanisms in the regulation of sleep/circadian rhythms and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Improvements in sleep are associated with improvements in symptoms, along with quality of life measures such as cognitive ability and employability. Therefore the circadian system holds valuable potential as a new therapeutic target for this disorder.
    Keywords:  SCRD; circadian; clock; dopamine; schizophrenia; sleep
  6. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020 Jul 14. 1-13
      Meal timing may be a critical modulator of health outcomes due to complex interactions between circadian biology, nutrition and human metabolism. As such, approaches that aim to align food consumption with endogenous circadian rhythms are emerging in recent years. Time-restricted eating (TRE) consists of limiting daily nutrient consumption to a period of 4 to 12 hours in order to extend the time spent in the fasted state. TRE can induce positive effects on the health of individuals with overweight and obesity, including sustained weight loss, improvement in sleep patterns, reduction in blood pressure and oxidative stress markers and increased insulin sensitivity. However, it is not fully clear whether positive effects of TRE are due to reduced energy intake, body weight or the truncation of the daily eating window. In addition, null effects of TRE in some populations and on some parameters of cardiometabolic health have been documented. Some evidence indicates that greater promotion of health via TRE may be achieved if the nutrient intake period occurs earlier in the day. Despite some promise of this dietary strategy, the effects of performing TRE at different times of the day on human cardiometabolic health, as well as the safety and efficacy of this dietary approach in individuals with cardiometabolic impairments, need to be evaluated in additional controlled and long-term studies.
    Keywords:  Circadian system; fasting; health; intermittent fasting; meal timing; time-restricted feeding
  7. Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 17. 11(1): 3593
      During pregnancy, maternal endocrine signals drive fetal development and program the offspring's physiology. A disruption of maternal glucocorticoid (GC) homeostasis increases the child's risk of developing psychiatric disorders later in life. We here show in mice, that the time of day of antenatal GC exposure predicts the behavioral phenotype of the adult offspring. Offspring of mothers receiving GCs out-of-phase compared to their endogenous circadian GC rhythm show elevated anxiety, impaired stress coping, and dysfunctional stress-axis regulation. The fetal circadian clock determines the vulnerability of the stress axis to GC treatment by controlling GC receptor (GR) availability in the hypothalamus. Similarly, a retrospective observational study indicates poorer stress compensatory capacity in 5-year old preterm infants whose mothers received antenatal GCs towards the evening. Our findings offer insights into the circadian physiology of feto-maternal crosstalk and assign a role to the fetal clock as a temporal gatekeeper of GC sensitivity.
  8. Clin Transl Sci. 2020 Jul 11.
      Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is mandatory for the immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus (Tac). For clinical applicability, TDM is performed using morning trough concentrations. With recent developments making tacrolimus concentration determination possible in capillary microsamples and Bayesian estimator predicted area under the concentration curve (AUC), AUC-guided TDM may now be clinically applicable. Tac circadian variation has, however, been reported, with lower systemic exposure following the evening dose. The aim of the present study was to investigate tacrolimus pharmacokinetic (PK) after morning and evening administrations of twice-daily tacrolimus in a real-life setting without restrictions regarding food and concomitant drug timing. Two 12 hour tacrolimus investigations were performed; after the morning dose and the following evening dose, respectively, in 31 renal transplant recipients early after transplantation both in a fasting-state and under real-life nonfasting conditions (14 patients repeated the investigation). We observed circadian variation under fasting-conditions: 45% higher peak-concentration and 20% higher AUC following the morning dose. In the real-life nonfasting setting, the PK-profiles were flat but comparable after the morning and evening doses, showing slower absorption rate and lower AUC compared with the fasting-state. Limited sampling strategies using concentrations at 0, 1, and 3 hours predicted AUC after fasting morning administration, and samples obtained at 1, 3, and 6 hours predicted AUC for the other conditions (evening and real-life nonfasting). In conclusion, circadian variation of tacrolimus is present when performed in patients who are in the fasting-state, whereas flatter PK-profiles and no circadian variation was present in a real-life, nonfasting setting.