Homeostasis in intestinal epithelium is orchestrated by the circadian clock and microbiota cues transduced by TLRs

Cell. 2013 May 9;153(4):812-27. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.020.


Alterations of symbiosis between microbiota and intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) are associated with intestinal and systemic pathologies. Interactions between bacterial products (MAMPs) and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are known to be mandatory for IEC homeostasis, but how TLRs may time homeostatic functions with circadian changes is unknown. Our functional and molecular dissections of the IEC circadian clock demonstrate that its integrity is required for microbiota-IEC dialog. In IEC, the antiphasic expression of the RORα activator and RevErbα repressor clock output regulators generates a circadian rhythmic TLR expression that converts the temporally arrhythmic microbiota signaling into circadian rhythmic JNK and IKKβ activities, which prevents RevErbα activation by PPARα that would disrupt the circadian clock. Moreover, through activation of AP1 and NF-κB, these activities, together with RORα and RevErbα, enable timing homeostatic functions of numerous genes with IEC circadian events. Interestingly, microbiota signaling deficiencies induce a prediabetic syndrome due to ileal corticosterone overproduction consequent to clock disruption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corticosterone / metabolism
  • Ileum / immunology
  • Ileum / microbiology*
  • Ileum / physiology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Male
  • Metagenome*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology*


  • NF-kappa B
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 1
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Corticosterone