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FASEB J. 2012 Aug;26(8):3321-35. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-208751. Epub 2012 May 4.

The nuclear receptor REV-ERBα is required for the daily balance of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

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Department of Neurobiology of Rhythms, Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.


Mutations of clock genes can lead to diabetes and obesity. REV-ERBα, a nuclear receptor involved in the circadian clockwork, has been shown to control lipid metabolism. To gain insight into the role of REV-ERBα in energy homeostasis in vivo, we explored daily metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids in chow-fed, unfed, or high-fat-fed Rev-erbα(-/-) mice and their wild-type littermates. Chow-fed Rev-erbα(-/-) mice displayed increased adiposity (2.5-fold) and mild hyperglycemia (∼10%) without insulin resistance. Indirect calorimetry indicates that chow-fed Rev-erbα(-/-) mice utilize more fatty acids during daytime. A 24-h nonfeeding period in Rev-erbα(-/-) animals favors further fatty acid mobilization at the expense of glycogen utilization and gluconeogenesis, without triggering hypoglycemia and hypothermia. High-fat feeding in Rev-erbα(-/-) mice amplified metabolic disturbances, including expression of lipogenic factors. Lipoprotein lipase (Lpl) gene, critical in lipid utilization/storage, is triggered in liver at night and constitutively up-regulated (∼2-fold) in muscle and adipose tissue of Rev-erbα(-/-) mice. We show that CLOCK, up-regulated (2-fold) at night in Rev-erbα(-/-) mice, can transactivate Lpl. Thus, overexpression of Lpl facilitates muscle fatty acid utilization and contributes to fat overload. This study demonstrates the importance of clock-driven Lpl expression in energy balance and highlights circadian disruption as a potential cause for the metabolic syndrome.

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