Publications

Circadian misalignment induces fatty acid metabolism gene profiles and induces insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle

Wefers, Jakob; Moorsel, Dirk van; Hansen, Jan; Hooiveld, G.J.E.J.; Kersten, A.H.; Schrauwen, Patrick

Summary

Circadian misalignment, such as in shift work, has been associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, however, direct effects of circadian misalignment on skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and muscle molecular circadian clock have never been investigated in humans. Here we investigated insulin sensitivity and muscle metabolism in fourteen healthy young lean men (age 22.4 ± 2.8 years; BMI 22.3 ± 2.1 kg/m2 [mean ± SD]) after a 3-day control protocol and a 3.5-day misalignment protocol induced by a 12-h rapid shift of the behavioral cycle. We show that circadian misalignment results in a significant decrease in peripheral insulin sensitivity due to a reduced skeletal muscle non-oxidative glucose disposal (Rate of disappearance: 23.7 ± 2.4 vs. 18.4 ± 1.4 mg/kg/min; control vs. misalignment; p=0.024). Fasting glucose and FFA levels as well as sleeping metabolic rate were higher during circadian misalignment. Molecular analysis of skeletal muscle biopsies revealed that the molecular circadian clock was not aligned to the new behavourial rhythm, and microarray analysis revealed the human PPAR pathway as a key player in the disturbed energy metabolism upon circadian misallignement. Our findings may provide a mechanism underlying the increased risk of type 2 diabetes among shift workers.