Circadian control of insulin secretion is independent of the temporal distribution of feeding

Physiol Behav. 1998 Feb 15;63(4):553-8. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(97)00493-9.


To investigate whether there is a circadian regulation of insulin secretion, rats were adapted to a feeding regimen of six meals equally distributed over 24 h. Under these conditions basal glucose and insulin levels increased during the light phase and decreased during the dark phase. Maximal blood glucose responses were fairly similar during the six different meals, but glucose increments were clearly delayed during the last two meals consumed during the light period. Insulin increments were highest during the dark phase and clearly diminished during the second half of the light phase. This situation was reversed when the scheduled meals were replaced by i.v. glucose infusions, i.e., no significant differences were detected between insulin responses, whereas glucose increments were reduced during the dark period. These results show that there is a circadian regulation of basal blood glucose and feeding-induced insulin responses, which is independent of the temporal distribution of feeding activity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose