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Biology (Basel). 2017 Feb 4;6(1). pii: E10. doi: 10.3390/biology6010010.

Circadian Rhythms and Hormonal Homeostasis: Pathophysiological Implications.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet at Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm 14186, Sweden.
Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy.


Over recent years, a deeper comprehension of the molecular mechanisms that control biological clocks and circadian rhythms has been achieved. In fact, many studies have contributed to unravelling the importance of the molecular clock for the regulation of our physiology, including hormonal and metabolic homeostasis. Here we will review the structure, organisation and molecular machinery that make our circadian clock work, and its relevance for the proper functioning of physiological processes. We will also describe the interconnections between circadian rhythms and endocrine homeostasis, as well as the underlying consequences that circadian dysregulations might have in the development of several pathologic affections. Finally, we will discuss how a better knowledge of such relationships might prove helpful in designing new therapeutic approaches for endocrine and metabolic diseases.


central oscillator; circadian clock; hormonal homeostasis; metabolic diseases; peripheral oscillators

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