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Am J Physiol. 1998 May;274(5):R1309-16. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1998.274.5.R1309.

Persistence of metabolic rhythmicity during fasting and its entrainment by restricted feeding schedules in rats.

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Departamento de Neurociencias, Universidad National Autónoma de México, Mexico City.


The presence of a food-entrainable oscillator (FEO) independent from the SCN is now well established, but until now its location and characterization have been elusive. Because its expression requires priming of the animal's metabolism toward a catabolic state, it is possible that metabolic rhythms may be related to FEO. The present study was designed to determine whether metabolic rhythms persist during fasting and whether such rhythms could be entrained to a restricted feeding schedule. The results indicate persistent rhythms of triacylglycerides, free fatty acids, glucose, and proteins during fasting, whereas ketone bodies and liver glycogen changed their concentration as a function of fasting. Daily food pulses of 2 h entrained the rhythms of triacylglycerides and free fatty acids and restored ketone bodies and liver glycogen to similar levels as controls. Neither glucose nor proteins were affected by the food pulse. These results indicate the relevance of lipid metabolism as a phenomenon associated with the FEO.

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