Phase-shifting the circadian glucocorticoid profile induces disordered feeding behaviour by dysregulating hypothalamic neuropeptide gene expression.

Ever thought why disturbed sleep or shift work is associated with weight gain and changes in appetite?

In our recent paper, we report data from a novel rodent model of shift work that demonstrate how adrenal glucocorticoid hormone, which is normally secreted in a circadian manner, is a major factor in the daily control of hypothalamic neuropeptides that regulate appetite. Furthermore when we disturb the normal relationship of this hormone with the day:night light cycle, it results in abnormal gene regulation of the neuropeptides, and increased appetite during the period of time that the animals normally sleep. Our findings indicate that disturbance of normal daily bodily rhythms in turn disrupts normal appetite regulation in a way that is at least in part a result of desysnchrony between adrenal steroid hormone production and the timing of the light:dark cycle.

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