bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
three papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. Commun Biol. 2021 Jun 18. 4(1): 761
      Regular exercise is important for physical and mental health. An underexplored and intriguing property of exercise is its actions on the body's 24 h or circadian rhythms. Molecular clock cells in the brain's suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) use electrical and chemical signals to orchestrate their activity and convey time of day information to the rest of the brain and body. To date, the long-lasting effects of regular physical exercise on SCN clock cell coordination and communication remain unresolved. Utilizing mouse models in which SCN intercellular neuropeptide signaling is impaired as well as those with intact SCN neurochemical signaling, we examined how daily scheduled voluntary exercise (SVE) influenced behavioral rhythms and SCN molecular and neuronal activities. We show that in mice with disrupted neuropeptide signaling, SVE promotes SCN clock cell synchrony and robust 24 h rhythms in behavior. Interestingly, in both intact and neuropeptide signaling deficient animals, SVE reduces SCN neural activity and alters GABAergic signaling. These findings illustrate the potential utility of regular exercise as a long-lasting and effective non-invasive intervention in the elderly or mentally ill where circadian rhythms can be blunted and poorly aligned to the external world.
  2. BMJ Open. 2021 06 16. 11(6): e045537
      INTRODUCTION: Career firefighters experience chronic circadian rhythm disruption, increasing their risk of cardiometabolic disease. The recent discovery that eating patterns regulate circadian rhythmicity in metabolic organs has raised the hypothesis that maintaining a consistent daily cycle of eating and fasting can support circadian rhythms and reduce disease risks. Preclinical animal studies and preliminary clinical trials have shown promising effects of time-restricted eating (TRE) to reduce disease risk without compromising physical performance. However, there is a lack of research on TRE in shift workers including firefighters. This study aims to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of 10-hour TRE on health parameters that contribute to cardiometabolic disease risks among career firefighters who work on a 24-hour shift schedule.METHODS AND ANALYSES: The Healthy Heroes Study is a randomised controlled parallel open-label clinical trial with 150 firefighters over 1 year. Firefighters are randomised with a 1:1 ratio to either the control or intervention group. The control group receives Mediterranean diet nutritional counselling (standard of care, 'SOC'). The intervention group receives the same SOC and a self-selected 10-hour TRE window. After the 2-week baseline, participants enter a 3-month monitored intervention, followed by a 9-month self-guided period with follow-up assessments. The impact of TRE on blood glucose, body weight, body composition, biomarkers (neuroendocrine, inflammatory and metabolic), sleep and mood is evaluated. These assessments occur at baseline, at the end of intervention and at 6, 9 and 12-month follow-ups. Temporal calorie intake is monitored with the smartphone application myCircadianClock throughout the study. Continuous glucose monitors, wrist-worn actigraphy device and questionnaires are used to monitor glucose levels, activity, sleep and light exposure.
    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of the University of California San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed manuscripts, reports and presentations.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03533023; Pre result.
    Keywords:  cardiology; diabetes & endocrinology; general diabetes; general medicine (see internal medicine); hypertension; physiology
  3. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 10. 11(1): 12242
      The circadian clock regulates many biochemical and physiological pathways, and lack of clock genes, such as Period (Per) 2, affects not only circadian activity rhythms, but can also modulate feeding and mood-related behaviors. However, it is not known how cell-type specific expression of Per2 contributes to these behaviors. In this study, we find that Per2 in glial cells is important for balancing mood-related behaviors, without affecting circadian activity parameters. Genetic and adeno-associated virus-mediated deletion of Per2 in glial cells of mice leads to reduced despair and anxiety. This is paralleled by an increase of the GABA transporter 2 (Gat2/Slc6a13) and Dopamine receptor D3 (Drd3) mRNA, and a reduction of glutamate levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Interestingly, neuronal Per2 knock-out also reduces despair, but does not influence anxiety. The change in mood-related behavior is not a result of a defective molecular clock, as glial Bmal1 deletion has no effect on neither despair nor anxiety. Exclusive deletion of Per2 in glia of the NAc reduced despair, but had no influence on anxiety. Our data provide strong evidence for an important role of glial Per2 in regulating mood-related behavior.