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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2006 May;290(5):R1276-83. Epub 2005 Dec 29.

Time-restricted feeding entrains daily rhythms of energy metabolism in mice.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Josai International Univ., 1 Gumyo, Togane, Chiba 283-8555, Japan.


Energy metabolism, oxygen consumption rate (VO2), and respiratory quotient (RQ) in mice were monitored continuously throughout 12:12-h light-dark cycles before, during, and after time-restricted feeding (RF). Mice fed ad libitum showed robust daily rhythms in both parameters: high during the dark phase and low during the light phase. The daily profile of energy metabolism in mice under daytime-only feeding was reversed at the beginning of the first fasting night. A few days after daytime-only feeding began, RF also reversed the circadian core body temperature rhythm. Moreover, RF for 6 consecutive days shifted the phases of circadian expression patterns of clock genes in liver significantly by 8-10 h. When mice were fed a high-fat (HF) diet ad libitum, the daily rhythm of RQ dampened day by day and disappeared on the sixth day of RF, whereas VO2 showed a robust daily rhythm. Mice fed HF only in the daytime had reversed VO2 and RQ rhythms. Similarly, mice fed HF only in the daytime significantly phase shifted the clock gene expression in liver, whereas ad libitum feeding with HF had no significant effect on the expression phases of liver clock genes. These results suggested that VO2 is a sensitive indicator of entrainment in the mouse liver. Moreover, physiologically, it can be determined without any surgery or constraint. On the basis of these results, we hypothesize that a change in the daily VO2 rhythm, independent of the energy source, might drive phase shifts of circadian oscillators in peripheral tissues, at least in the liver.

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