The skeletal muscle groups in folks with kind 2 diabetes have a distinct circadian rhythm, analysis exhibits

Almost all cells regulate their biological processes over a period of 24 hours, also known as the circadian rhythm of a cell. To do this, cells use a biological clock that switches various genes on and off day and night. Scientists already know that our metabolic health can suffer if our biological clock fails, for example due to shift work or sleep disorders. However, it is unclear how exactly the biological clock of people with 2 diabetes differs from healthy people.

A team of international scientists has now shown that the skeletal muscles in people with 2 diabetes have a different circadian rhythm. They argue that this could be due to a loss of communication between a cell’s time molecules and the mitochondria, which produce chemical energy for the cells.

“The promise of this research is that it can help us optimize the timing of interventions and other drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes to optimize their effectiveness,” says Professor Juleen R. Zierath of Karolinska Institutet and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) at the University of Copenhagen.

Another pattern of daily gene expression

In the study published in Science Advances, the scientists first obtained skeletal muscle cells from people with type 2 diabetes and measured which genes exhibited cycle behavior over two days, and compared them with cells from similar healthy people. They discovered that cells from people with type 2 diabetes had fewer and some different cyclic genes.

They conducted further experiments using data from clinical tests in people with type 2 diabetes and mice, as well as cell-based experiments. These experiments showed that mitochondria communicate with the molecules that hold time in our cells, and that communication is disrupted in people with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes treatments can be more effective when they are coordinated with your body clock

Some of the most commonly used pharmacological treatments for type 2 diabetes affect the mitochondria, which means that they can work differently depending on the time of day. As a result, these underscore the importance of considering cellular rhythms when prescribing treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Exercise and diet are regularly used as treatment interventions in people with type 2 diabetes, and both treatments can affect timing molecules and mitochondria. “

Dr. Brendan Gabriel, first author of the study, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet

Brendan Gabriel is the first author of the paper together with Assistant Professor Ali Altintas from the CBMR.

“Given that disrupted sleep patterns are known to be linked to an increased of developing type 2 diabetes, our provide clues as to how these disorders are related to the molecular biology in the cells,” says Ali Altintas.


University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Journal reference:

Gabriel, BM, et al. (2021) Interrupted circadian oscillations in type 2 diabetes are associated with an altered rhythmic mitochondrial metabolism in the skeletal muscles. Scientific advances.

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