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The mechanism of the biological clock is based on a rhythmic expression of clock genes and clock-controlled genes. As a result of their transcripto-translational associations, endogenous rhythms in the synthesis of key proteins of various physiological and metabolic processes are created. The major timekeeping mechanism for these rhythms exists in the central nervous system. The master circadian clock, localized in suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), regulates multiple metabolic pathways, while feeding behavior and metabolite availability can in turn regulate the circadian clock. It is also suggested that in the brain there is a food entrainable oscillator (FEO) or oscillators, resulting in activation of both food anticipatory activity and hormone secretion that control digestion processes. Moreover, most cells and tissues express autonomous clocks. Maintenance of the glucose homeostasis is particularly important for the proper function of the body, as this sugar is the main source of energy for the brain, retina, erythrocytes and skeletal muscles. Thus, glucose production and utilization are synchronized in time. The hypothalamic excited orexin neurons control energy balance of organism and modulate the glucose production and utilization. Deficiency of orexin action results in narcolepsy and weight gain, whereas glucose and amino acids can affect activity of the orexin cells. Large-scale genetic studies in rodents and humans provide evidence for the involvement of disrupted clock gene expression rhythms in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In general, the current lifestyle of the developed modern societies disturbs the action of biological clock.


Piotr Chrościcki, Michał Usarek, Jadwiga Bryla. The role of biological clock in glucose homeostasis]. Postȩpy higieny i medycyny doświadczalnej (Online). 2013;67:569-83

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PMID: 23799401

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