Wietse In het Panhuis
Endocrinology, The Einthoven Laboratory for Vascular and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
Circadian disturbances (as occurring in for example shift work) have often been associated with metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. It is estimated that the prevalence of shift work in Europe is 15% and increasing. Shift work may therefore significantly contribute to public health issues, indicating the need for new interventions to reduce the adverse effects of circadian disruption.We have demonstrated that these associations may be causal as circadian disruption induced by prolonged light exposure led to adiposity in mice. Although the underlying cause remains to be determined, we suggest that that rhythm in brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity might be involved (Kooijman, PNAS USA 2015; van den Berg, Cell Reports 2018). BAT is characterized by its capacity to increase energy expenditure through thermogenesis by the uptake and combustion of glucose and fatty acids, thereby promoting lipid clearance from the circulation.