bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2022‒09‒04
two papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 ;13 920261
      Type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity and metabolic syndrome are becoming more prevalent worldwide and will present an increasingly challenging burden on healthcare systems. These interlinked metabolic abnormalities predispose affected individuals to a plethora of complications and comorbidities. Furthermore, diabetes is estimated by the World Health Organization to have caused 1.5 million deaths in 2019, with this figure projected to rise in coming years. This highlights the need for further research into the management of metabolic diseases and their complications. Studies on circadian rhythms, referring to physiological and behavioral changes which repeat approximately every 24 hours, may provide important insight into managing metabolic disease. Epidemiological studies show that populations who are at risk of circadian disruption such as night shift workers and regular long-haul flyers are also at an elevated risk of metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance and obesity. Aberrant expression of circadian genes appears to contribute to the dysregulation of metabolic functions such as insulin secretion, glucose homeostasis and energy expenditure. The potential clinical implications of these findings have been highlighted in animal studies and pilot studies in humans giving rise to the development of circadian interventions strategies including chronotherapy (time-specific therapy), time-restricted feeding, and circadian molecule stabilizers/analogues. Research into these areas will provide insights into the future of circadian medicine in metabolic diseases. In this review, we discuss the physiology of metabolism and the role of circadian timing in regulating these metabolic functions. Also, we review the clinical aspects of circadian physiology and the impact that ongoing and future research may have on the management of metabolic disease.
    Keywords:  circadian rhythm; insulin; metabolism; obesity; pancreas
  2. Acta Diabetol. 2022 Aug 31.
      AIMS: Disturbances in circadian rhythms may promote cardiometabolic disorders in rotating night shift workers (r-NSWs). We hypothesized that timed light therapy might reverse disrupted circadian rhythms and glucose intolerance observed among r-NSWs).METHODS: R-NSWs were randomly assigned to a protocol that included 12 weeks on followed by 12 weeks off light therapy (n = 13; 6 men; mean age, 39.5 ± 7.3 years) or a no-treatment control group (n = 9; 3 men; mean age 41.7 ± 6.3 years). Experimental and control participants underwent identical metabolic evaluations that included anthropometric, metabolic (including oral glucose tolerance tests), lipid, and inflammation-associated parameters together with an assessment of sleep quality and expression of circadian transcription factors REV-ERBα and BMAL1 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks of the protocol.
    RESULTS: Twelve weeks of warm white-light exposure (10,000 lx at 35 cm for 30 min per day) had no impact on sleep, metabolic, or inflammation-associated parameters among r-NSWs in the experimental group. However, our findings revealed significant decreases in REV-ERBα gene expression (p = 0.048) and increases in the REV-ERBα/BMAL1 ratio (p = 0.040) compared to baseline in PBMCs isolated from this cohort. Diminished expression of REV-ERBα persisted, although the REV-ERBα/BMAL1 ratio returned to baseline levels after the subsequent 12-day wash-out period.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results revealed that intermittent light therapy had no impact on inflammatory parameters or glucose tolerance in a defined cohort of r-NSWs. However, significant changes in the expression of circadian clock genes were detected in PBMCs of these subjects undergoing light therapy.
    Keywords:  BMAL1; Clock genes; Diabetes; Light therapy; Night shift work; REV-ERBs