Circadian rhythms in adipose tissue: An update

Jeffrey M. Gimble, Gregory M. Sutton, Andrey A. Ptitsyn, Z. Elizabeth Floyd, Bruce A. Bunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated from basic science, clinical and epidemiological studies linking circadian mechanisms to adipose tissue biology and its related comorbidities, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity. This review highlights recent in-vitro and in-vivo findings from murine, human and model organism studies. Recent Findings: High-fat diets attenuate circadian mechanisms in murine adipose depots and these effects appear to be due to obesity rather than hyperglycemia. Deletion of circadian regulatory genes such as AMPK1 and nocturnin alter the circadian biology of adipose tissue. Unlike the mouse, circadian gene oscillation in human adipose tissue appears to be independent of BMI and diabetes status, suggesting that circadian mechanistic variation occurs across species. Clues for future directions in this emerging field come from studies of the hibernation and torpor state in mammals and infection models involving the Drosophila metabolic organ or 'fat body'. Summary: There is a growing consensus that circadian rhythms and metabolism are tightly regulated in adipose tissue and peripheral metabolic organs. Although central mechanisms are critical, autonomous clocks exist within the adipocytes themselves. Future circadian advances are likely to result from the studies of adipose tissue-specific gene deletions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-561
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • adipose
  • circadian
  • clock
  • entrainer
  • metabolism


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