The internal clock and feeding rhythm set the pace of the liver

January 15, 2014

Living organisms have adapted to the day-night cycle and, in most cases, they have evolved a "circadian clock". Its effects are not completely known yet but its functioning has been shown to have important metabolic consequences for the body. Disruption of normal circadian rhythms can have deleterious effects on health; for example lack of sleep is linked with obesity, and the time of feeding was shown to affect the ability to control body weight.

Scientists from the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), supported by a 2012 grant from the Swiss Leenaards Foundation originally awarded to the Université de Lausanne, have found that in the case of the liver, the rhythm of protein production and release is dictated by both the organisms' feeding behaviors and their . The current study was published last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

The researchers, under the direction of Frédéric Gachon (NIHS) and Felix Naef (EPFL), analyzed with mass spectrometry, one of the new analytical tools currently available that allow a closer inspection of the real impact of this clock on some biological processes, in particular at a level of temporal protein abundance. They measured the concentration of more than 5000 different proteins – whereas previous techniques only allowed the identification a few hundreds at best.

The results suggest that the does not only influence the production of proteins by the genes, but also the way the liver regulated the storage and release of proteins into the body. "Our experiments seem to prove that the pace set by feeding patterns takes precedence over the circadian rhythm. However, it appears that the strongest effect takes place when these two rhythms overlap", said Frédéric Gachon.

As a next step, this research will attempt to translate some of these results to humans. "Our work will help develop strategies focused on diet to help treat patients suffering from disorders associated to circadian dysfunctions" said Felix Naef.

Explore further: Nutrition influences metabolism through circadian rhythms

Related Stories

Nutrition influences metabolism through circadian rhythms

December 19, 2013
A high-fat diet affects the molecular mechanism controlling the internal body clock that regulates metabolic functions in the liver, UC Irvine scientists have found. Disruption of these circadian rhythms may contribute to ...

Researchers identify key molecular components linking circadian rhythms and cell division cycles

January 14, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have identified key molecular components linking circadian rhythms and cell division cycles in Neurospora crassa, providing insights that could lead to improved ...

Circadian rhythms control body's response to intestinal infections

May 31, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Circadian rhythms can boost the body's ability to fight intestinal bacterial infections, UC Irvine researchers have found.

Key protein is linked to circadian clocks, helps regulate metabolism

June 18, 2013
Inside each of us is our own internal timing device. It drives everything from sleep cycles to metabolism, but the inner-workings of this so-called "circadian clock" are complex, and the molecular processes behind it have ...

Recommended for you

Post-stroke patients reach terra firma with new exosuit technology

July 26, 2017
Upright walking on two legs is a defining trait in humans, enabling them to move very efficiently throughout their environment. This can all change in the blink of an eye when a stroke occurs. In about 80% of patients post-stroke, ...

Molecular hitchhiker on human protein signals tumors to self-destruct

July 24, 2017
Powerful molecules can hitch rides on a plentiful human protein and signal tumors to self-destruct, a team of Vanderbilt University engineers found.

Researchers develop new method to generate human antibodies

July 24, 2017
An international team of scientists has developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The technique, which will be described in a paper to be published July 24 in The Journal of Experimental ...

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

July 24, 2017
A new way of producing the seasonal flu vaccine could speed up the process and provide better protection against infection.

A sodium surprise: Engineers find unexpected result during cardiac research

July 20, 2017
Irregular heartbeat—or arrhythmia—can have sudden and often fatal consequences. A biomedical engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis examining molecular behavior in cardiac tissue recently made a surprising ...

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.