Circadian physiology is responsible for the temporal regulation of metabolism to optimize energy homeostasis throughout the day. Disturbances in the light/dark cycle, sleep/wake schedule, or feeding/activity behavior can affect the circadian function of the clocks located in the brain and peripheral tissues. These alterations have been associated with impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes. Animal models with molecular manipulation of clock genes and genetic studies in humans also support these links. It has been demonstrated that the endocrine pancreas has an intrinsic self-sustained clock, and recent studies have revealed an important role of clock genes in pancreatic β cells, glucose homeostasis, and diabetes.
Keywords: clock genes; diabetes; insulin; pancreas; β cell.
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