Diurnal rhythms in the white adipose tissue transcriptome are disturbed in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with lean control individuals

Dirk Jan Stenvers, Aldo Jongejan, Sadaf Atiqi, Jeroen P Vreijling, Eelkje J Limonard, Erik Endert, Frank Baas, Perry D Moerland, Eric Fliers, Andries Kalsbeek, Peter H Bisschop

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Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Animal studies have indicated that disturbed diurnal rhythms of clock gene expression in adipose tissue can induce obesity and type 2 diabetes. The importance of the circadian timing system for energy metabolism is well established, but little is known about the diurnal regulation of (clock) gene expression in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. In this study we aimed to identify key disturbances in the diurnal rhythms of the white adipose tissue transcriptome in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: In a case-control design, we included six obese individuals with type 2 diabetes and six healthy, lean control individuals. All participants were provided with three identical meals per day for 3 days at zeitgeber time (ZT, with ZT 0:00 representing the time of lights on) 0:30, 6:00 and 11:30. Four sequential subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue samples were obtained, on day 2 at ZT 15:30, and on day 3 at ZT 0:15, ZT 5:45 and ZT 11:15. Gene expression was measured using RNA sequencing.

RESULTS: The core clock genes showed reduced amplitude oscillations in the individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with the healthy control individuals. Moreover, in individuals with type 2 diabetes, only 1.8% (303 genes) of 16,818 expressed genes showed significant diurnal rhythmicity, compared with 8.4% (1421 genes) in healthy control individuals. Enrichment analysis revealed a loss of rhythm in individuals with type 2 diabetes of canonical metabolic pathways involved in the regulation of lipolysis. Enrichment analysis of genes with an altered mesor in individuals with type 2 diabetes showed decreased activity of the translation initiating pathway 'EIF2 signaling'. Individuals with type 2 diabetes showed a reduced diurnal rhythm in postprandial glucose concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Diurnal clock and metabolic gene expression rhythms are decreased in subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with lean control participants. Future investigation is needed to explore potential treatment targets as identified by our study, including clock enhancement and induction of EIF2 signalling.

DATA AVAILABILITY: The raw sequencing data and supplementary files for rhythmic expression analysis and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis have been deposited in NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO series accession number GSE104674).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-716
JournalDiabetologia
Volume62
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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    Stenvers, D. J., Jongejan, A., Atiqi, S., Vreijling, J. P., Limonard, E. J., Endert, E., Baas, F., Moerland, P. D., Fliers, E., Kalsbeek, A., & Bisschop, P. H. (2019). Diurnal rhythms in the white adipose tissue transcriptome are disturbed in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with lean control individuals. Diabetologia, 62, 704-716. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-4813-5