Circadian Metabolism: From Mechanisms to Metabolomics and Medicine

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jun;27(6):415-426. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2016.03.015. Epub 2016 Apr 21.


The circadian clock directs nearly all aspects of diurnal physiology, including metabolism. Current research identifies several major axes by which it exerts these effects, including systemic signals as well as direct control of cellular processes by local clocks. This redundant network can transmit metabolic and timing information bidirectionally for optimal synchrony of metabolic processes. Recent advances in cellular profiling and metabolomics technologies have yielded unprecedented insights into the mechanisms behind this control. They have also helped to illuminate individual variation in these mechanisms that could prove important in personalized therapy for metabolic disease. Finally, these technologies have provided platforms with which to screen for the first potential drugs affecting clock-modulated metabolic function.

Keywords: chronopharmacology; circadian genes; diabetes; diet; drug screening; lipidomics; metabolomics; mitochondria; obesity; redox homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks / genetics
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Mitochondria / metabolism