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Endocrinology 149 (2007) 1914-1925
Daily rhythms in metabolic liver enzymes and plasma glucose require a balance in the autonomic output to the liver.
Cathy Cailotto1, 2, Caroline Van Heijningen1, Jan van der Vliet2, Geoffrey van der Plasse2, Caroline Habold3, Andries Kalsbeek2, Paul Pévet1, Ruud M Buijs2

Daily variations in plasma glucose concentrations are controlled by the biological clock, located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Our previous studies indicated an important role for the sympathetic innervation of the liver in the generation of the daily glucose rhythm. In the present study, we investigated further the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the genesis of the plasma glucose rhythm. First, we showed that complete removal of the autonomic inputs to the liver did not impair the plasma glucose rhythm or the daily expression of the gluco-regulatory enzymes in the liver. Consequently, we studied whether the daily glucose rhythm is driven by the daily feeding activity in denervated animals. Surprisingly, also complete denervation combined with a non-circadian feeding schedule did not abolish the 24h-profile in plasma glucose, nor all daily rhythms in the gene expression of liver enzymes. These results demonstrate that the mechanisms used by the SCN to control the rhythmic expression of glucose metabolizing enzymes and the 24h-rhythm in plasma glucose concentrations are highly versatile and the glucose rhythm can be maintained in absence of hepatic ANS input and/or a day/night-rhythm in feeding activity. Interestingly, a hepatic sympathectomy or parasympathectomy did abolish the plasma glucose rhythm, demonstrating that a "unilateral" denervation of the liver is more deleterious to maintaining the rhythmic liver metabolism than a complete removal of both branches. This observation supports the notion that an unbalanced ANS in obesity and diabetes accounts for the disturbed glucose balance in these disorders.
1 :  INCI - Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives
2 :  Netherlands Institute for Brain Research
3 :  DEPE-IPHC - Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
Sciences du Vivant/Biodiversité/Evolution

Sciences de l'environnement/Biodiversité et Ecologie