To be prepared for alternating metabolic demands occurring over the 24-hour day, the body preserves information on time in skeletal muscle, and in all cells, through a circadian-clock mechanism. Skeletal muscle can be considered the largest collection of peripheral clocks in the body, with a major contribution to whole-body energy metabolism. Comparison of circadian-clock gene expression between skeletal muscle of nocturnal rodents and diurnal humans reveals very common patterns based on rest/active cycles rather than light/dark cycles. Rodent studies in which the circadian clock is disrupted in skeletal muscle demonstrate impaired glucose handling and insulin resistance. Experimental circadian misalignment in humans modifies the skeletal-muscle clocks and leads to disturbed energy metabolism and insulin resistance. Preclinical studies have revealed that timing of exercise over the day can influence the beneficial effects of exercise on skeletal-muscle metabolism, and studies suggest similar applicability in humans. Current strategies to improve metabolic health (e.g., exercise) should be reinvestigated in their capability to modify the skeletal-muscle clocks by taking timing of the intervention into account.
- CIRCADIAN GENE-EXPRESSION
- NOCTURNAL EXERCISE