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FEBS Lett. 2011 May 20;585(10):1412-26. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.03.021. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Circadian disruption and SCN control of energy metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In this review we first present the anatomical pathways used by the suprachiasmatic nuclei to enforce its rhythmicity onto the body, especially its energy homeostatic system. The experimental data show that by activating the orexin system at the start of the active phase, the biological clock not only ensures that we wake up on time, but also that our glucose metabolism and cardiovascular system are prepared for increased activity. The drawback of such a highly integrated system, however, becomes visible when our daily lives are not fully synchronized with the environment. Thus, in addition to increased physical activity and decreased intake of high-energy food, also a well-lighted and fully resonating biological clock may help to withstand the increasing "diabetogenic" pressure of today's 24/7 society.

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