ROLE OF CIRCADIAN TIMING SYSTEM IN THE PATHOFYSIOLOGY TYPE 2 DIABETES
Dirk Jan Stenvers
Supervisors: Peter Bisschop, Andries Kalsbeek & Eric Fliers
The circadian timing system consists of a central brain clock and peripheral clocks in metabolic organs such as liver, pancreas and adipose tissue. The circadian system receives direct information about light and darkness from the retina, and synchronises energy metabolism with the 24-hour rhythms of light/darkness and feeding/fasting. It has been shown that genetic modifications of the molecular clock lead to obesity and diabetes. In the present society, the 24-hour availability of food and artificial light may disturb the circadian timing system and thus contribute to the diabetes pandemic. In the present project we investigate the biological clocks of patients with type 2 diabetes, with specific focus on glucose metabolism, hemostasis, and the autonomic nervous system. Furthermore we investigate how these processes are disturbed by environmental factors such as light and nutrition.
In the physiological situation, wakefulness, food intake, and anabolic metabolic processes coincide with the light period. Sleep, fasting, and catabolic metabolic processes are coupled to the dark period. Disturbance of this circadian synchrony may lead to obesity and diabetes (from: DJ Stenvers et al, Nutrition and the circadian timing system, Progress in Brain Research 2012)