20th Annual Sleep and Health Benefit

Peripheral circadian rhythms shift with a phase response curvedifferent than melatonin

Brianne Kent, PhD

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Clinical Implications
Research Narrative

While studies suggest that light and feeding patterns can reset circadian rhythms in various metabolites, whether these shifts follow a predictable pattern is unknown. We describe the first phase response curves (PRC) for lipids and hepatic proteins in response to combined light and food stimuli. The timing of plasma rhythms was assessed by constant routine before and after exposure to a combined 6.5-hour blue light exposure and standard meal schedule, which was systematically varied by ~20 degrees between individuals. The rhythms shifted according to a PRC, with generally greater shifts for lipids and liver proteins than for melatonin. PRC timing varied relative to the stimulus, with albumin and triglyceride PRCs peaking at a time similar to melatonin whereas the cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein PRCs were offset by ~12 hours. These data have important implications for treating circadian misalignment in shiftworkers who consume meals and are exposed to light around the clock.

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