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Time is of the essence
Date:2/5/2014

time-dependent fashion," says Adamovich. So what was making the fluctuating lipid levels "tick" if not the clocks? "One thing that came to mind was that, since food is a major source of lipids particularly TAG the eating habits of these mice might play a role." Usually, mice consume 20% of their food during the day and 80% at night. However, in mice lacking a functional clock, the team noted that they ingest food constantly throughout the day. This observation excluded the possibility that food is responsible for the fluctuating patterns seen in TAG levels in these mice.

When the scientists proceeded to check the effect of an imposed feeding regimen upon wild type mice, however, they were in for another surprise: After they provided the same amount of food but restricted 100% of the feeding to nighttime hours the team observed a dramatic 50% decrease in overall liver TAG levels.

These results suggest that the time at which TAG accumulation occurs, as well as its levels, are determined by the clocks together with timing of meals. The details of the mechanism that drives the actual fluctuating behavior are yet to be discovered.

Asher: "The striking outcome of restricted nighttime feeding lowering liver TAG levels in the very short time period of 10 days in the mice is of clinical importance. Hyperlipidemia and hypertriglyceridemia are common diseases characterized by abnormally elevated levels of lipids in blood and liver cells, which lead to fatty liver and other metabolic diseases. Yet no currently available drugs have been shown to change lipid accumulation as efficiently and drastically as simply adjusting meal time not to mention the possible side effects that may be associated with such drugs." Of course, mice are nocturnal animals, so in order to construe these results for humans, the timetable would need to be reversed.

Time is a crucial element in all biological systems, so these findings are likely to imp
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Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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