Estrogens prevent metabolic dysfunctions induced by circadian disruptions in female mice

Endocrinology. 2015 Jun;156(6):2114-23. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1922. Epub 2015 Mar 25.


Circadian disruption has become a significant factor contributing to the epidemics of obesity and insulin resistance. However, interventions to treat metabolic dysfunctions induced by circadian disruptions are limited. The ovarian hormone, estrogen, produces important antiobesity and antidiabetic effects in female animals and has profound effects on daily behavioral rhythms. Here, we show that in female mice depleted with endogenous estrogens, a jet-lag paradigm induced visceral fat accumulation and systemic insulin resistance, which were associated with altered expression of multiple circadian genes in the visceral fat depot. Interestingly, all these jet-lag-induced deficits were completely rescued in female mice supplemented with exogenous estrogens. We further examined 24-hour oscillations of circadian genes in adipose tissues in female mice with estrogen depletion or replacement and showed that expression levels of the circadian gene, period circadian protein homolog 2, oscillate in visceral adipose tissue in an estrogen-dependent manner. Together, our results indicate that estrogens interact with the intrinsic circadian clock in adipose tissue and prevent abnormal lipid accumulation caused by circadian disruptions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Estrogens / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL


  • Estrogens