Circadian Dysfunction Induces Leptin Resistance in Mice

Cell Metab. 2015 Sep 1;22(3):448-59. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.06.005. Epub 2015 Jul 9.


Circadian disruption is associated with obesity, implicating the central clock in body weight control. Our comprehensive screen of wild-type and three circadian mutant mouse models, with or without chronic jet lag, shows that distinct genetic and physiologic interventions differentially disrupt overall energy homeostasis and Leptin signaling. We found that BMAL1/CLOCK generates circadian rhythm of C/EBPα-mediated leptin transcription in adipose. Per and Cry mutant mice show similar disruption of peripheral clock and deregulation of leptin in fat, but opposite body weight and composition phenotypes that correlate with their distinct patterns of POMC neuron deregulation in the arcuate nucleus. Chronic jet lag is sufficient to disrupt the endogenous adipose clock and also induce central Leptin resistance in wild-type mice. Thus, coupling of the central and peripheral clocks controls Leptin endocrine feedback homeostasis. We propose that Leptin resistance, a hallmark of obesity in humans, plays a key role in circadian dysfunction-induced obesity and metabolic syndromes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Body Weight
  • CLOCK Proteins / metabolism
  • Circadian Clocks*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Leptin / blood
  • Leptin / genetics
  • Leptin / metabolism*
  • Melanocortins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Leptin
  • Melanocortins
  • CLOCK Proteins