Previous studies have shown that sleep restriction-induced environmental stress is associated with abnormal metabolism, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In the current study, we investigated the possible lipid and glucose metabolism patterns in chronically sleep-restricted rat. Without changes in food intake, body weight was decreased and energy expenditure was increased in sleep-restricted rats. The effects of chronic sleep disturbance on metabolites in serum were examined using ¹H NMR metabolomics and GC-FID/MS analysis. Six metabolites (lipoproteins, triglycerides, isoleucine, valine, choline, and phosphorylcholine) exhibited significant alteration, and all the fatty acid components were decreased, which suggested fatty acid metabolism was impaired after sleep loss. Moreover, increased blood glucose, reduced serum insulin, decreased glucose tolerance, and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion of islets were also observed in sleep-restricted rats. The islet function of insulin secretion could be partially restored by increasing dietary fat to sleep-disturbed rats suggested that a reduction in circulating fatty acids was related to islet dysfunction under sleep deficiency-induced environmental stress. This study provides a new perspective on the relationship between insufficient sleep and lipid/glucose metabolism, which offers insights into the role of stressful challenges in a healthy lifestyle.
Keywords: circulating fatty acids; islet function; metabonomics; sleep-restriction; stress response.