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J Nutr. 2010 May;140(5):908-14. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.116749. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Restricted feeding phase shifts clock gene and sodium glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1) expression in rats.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The intestine exhibits striking diurnal rhythmicity in glucose uptake, mediated by the sodium glucose cotransporter (SGLT1); however, regulatory pathways for these rhythms remain incompletely characterized. We hypothesized that SGLT1 rhythmicity is linked to the circadian clock. To investigate this, we examined rhythmicity of Sglt1 and individual clock genes in rats that consumed food ad libitum (AL). We further compared phase shifts of Sglt1 and clock genes in a second group of rats following restricted feeding to either the dark (DF) or light (LF) phase. Rats fed during the DF were pair-fed to rats fed during the LF. Jejunal mucosa was harvested across the diurnal period to generate expression profiles of Sglt1 and clock genes Clock, Bmal1 (brain-muscle Arnt-like 1), ReverbA/B, Per(Period) 1/2, and Cry (Cryptochrome) 1/2. All clock genes were rhythmic in AL rats (P < 0.05). Sglt1 also exhibited diurnal rhythmicity, with peak expression preceding nutrient arrival (P < 0.05). Light-restricted feeding shifted the expression rhythms of Sglt1 and most clock genes (Bmal1, ReverbA and B, Per1, Per2, and Cry1) compared with dark-restricted feeding (P < 0.05). The Sglt1 rhythm shifted in parallel with rhythms of Per1 and ReverbB. These effects of restricted feeding highlight luminal nutrients as a key Zeitgeber in the intestine, capable of simultaneously shifting the phases of transporter and clock gene expression, and suggest a role for clock genes in regulating Sglt1 and therefore glucose uptake. Understanding the regulatory cues governing rhythms in intestinal function may allow new therapeutic options for conditions of dysregulated absorption such as diabetes and obesity.

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