A new study led by researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) reveals the mechanisms behind the circadian clock of the liver.

The findings are published in the journal Science Advances in a paper titled, “Integration of feeding behavior by the liver circadian clock reveals network dependency of metabolic rhythms,” and led by Salvador Aznar-Benitah, PhD, group leader at IRB Barcelona.

“The mammalian circadian clock, expressed throughout the brain and body, controls daily metabolic homeostasis,” the researchers wrote. “Clock function in peripheral tissues is required, but not sufficient, for this task. Because of the lack of specialized animal models, it is unclear how tissue clocks interact with extrinsic signals to drive molecular oscillations.

Here, we isolated the interaction between feeding and the liver clock by reconstituting Bmal1 exclusively in hepatocytes (Liver-RE), in otherwise clock-less mice, and controlling timing of food intake. We found that the cooperative action of BMAL1 and the transcription factor CEBPB regulates daily liver metabolic transcriptional programs.”

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