About this Research Topic
The temporal organization of metabolism, physiology and behaviour around 24h is controlled by a network of multiple cellular clocks, synchronized via neuronal and hormonal signals by a master clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus. This circadian conductor is mainly reset by ambient light perceived by the retina, while a number of circadian clocks in the brain and peripheral organs are reset by meal timing. Chronic disruption of circadian rhythms, as seen in human shift-workers (up to 20% of the active population), has been associated with the development of a number of adverse mental and physiological conditions. However, the functional links between circadian desynchronization and overall health in animal models and humans is still scarce. This relative paucity of mechanistic explanations may result in part from the newly identified complexity of the interactions between circadian clocks and cellular metabolism. These interactions can occur at different levels: molecular clockwork, internal synchronization via neuro-hormonal signals, or external synchronization via photic or feeding cues.
Within this quickly moving field, our Research Topic will feature recent advancements in three main areas:
1. Molecular mechanisms linking energy metabolism and cellular clocks.
2. Physiological mechanisms by which circadian clocks are coupled together and synchronized by external (i.e., light and food) and internal cues (i.e., hormonal cues).
3. Pathophysiological implications of these interactions for human metabolic health.
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