Healthy fats impacted by diet change and circadian clock, study finds

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Changing your eating habits or altering your circadian clock can impact healthy fat tissue throughout your life, according to a preclinical study published today in Nature by researchers at the University of Texas at Houston Health Sciences Center (UTHealth).

Healthy fatty tissue helps provide energy, supports cell growth, protects organs, and keeps the body warm. A good quality diet and a rhythmic diet (that is, during our active cycle) are important for maintaining healthy fat, the researchers found.

The progenitor cells of adipocytes turn into adipocytes – the healthy fat cells that make up our adipose tissue, which stores energy in the form of fat. The researchers found that adipocyte progenitors undergo rhythmic daily proliferation throughout the 24-hour cycle under normal energy intake patterns.

However, when researchers introduced a high-fat diet or changed temporal patterns of food consumption so that mice ate equal amounts of food during the sleep and wake phase, this 24-hour pattern of pre-adipocyte proliferation was destroyed.

“We found that when we fed mice a high fat diet, it increased preadipocyte proliferation and destroyed its rhythmic pattern,” said Kristin Eckel-Mahan, PhD, assistant professor at the Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases at Brown. Foundation Institute. of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Disease at UTHealth and lead author of the study. “What we are projecting is that over the course of our lifetimes these 24 hour variations in the proliferation of these cells are really important in maintaining healthy fat.”

Dropping the circadian rhythm and eating a high fat diet over time will deplete healthy fat cells, and the study suggests that this disruption may be difficult to reverse. Depletion of fat progenitor cells will not allow new healthy fat cells to form in the tissue, ultimately causing fat storage defects and excess lipids to leak into other organs, such as the liver and muscles. Eckel-Mahan says having fat in these areas can lead to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

“In an ideal world, everyone would maintain a normal sleep-wake cycle and not eat at the wrong times of the day, so not too late before bed or early in the morning. You should also avoid high fat diets, which we have now shown to destroy the rhythmic proliferation of our preadipocytes. The 24 hour clock we have is important for our healthy fat, and we need to protect it as much as we can, ”said lead author Aleix Ribas-Latre, PhD, with the Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity and Vascular Research (HI-MAG) of the Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Leipzig and the University Hospital of Leipzig in Germany.

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Other UTHealth authors include Rafael Bravo Santos, PhD; Baharan Fekry, Ph.D.; Zhanguo Gao, Ph.D.; Mikhail Kolonin, PhD; Kai Sun, Ph.D.; Brad Snyder, MD; Alaa MT Mohamed; Samay Shivchankar; and Angielyn Rivera. John T. Heiker, PhD, of HI-MAG also contributed to the study.

Kolonin, Sun, and Eckel-Mahan are on faculty at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth at the University of Texas. Kolonin is the Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Distinguished University Chair in Metabolic Disease Research at UTHealth.

The study, titled “Cellular and Physiological Circadian Mechanisms Drive Diurnal Cell Proliferation and Expansion of White Adipose Tissue”, was supported by the National Institutes of Health (DK114037 and DK125922) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft SFB1052 / C07.

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