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Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2014 Aug;19(2):103-15. doi: 10.1515/hmbci-2014-0020.

Interaction of circadian and stress systems in the regulation of adipose physiology.


Endogenous circadian clocks facilitate the adaptation of physiology and behavior to recurring environmental changes brought about by the Earth's rotation around its axis. Adipose tissues harbor intrinsic circadian oscillators based on interlocked transcriptional-translational feedback loops built from a set of clock genes that regulate important aspects of lipid metabolism and adipose endocrine function. These adipocyte clocks are reset via neuronal and endocrine pathways originating from a master circadian pacemaker residing in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. One important mediator of circadian output is the stress hormone cortisol, which, at the same time, is one of the major regulators of adipose physiology. In this review we summarize recent findings on the interaction between circadian and stress systems in the regulation of adipose physiology and discuss the implications of this crosstalk for the development of metabolic disorders associated with circadian disruption and/or chronic stress, for example in shift workers.

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