Disruption of Circadian Rhythm Leads to Diabetes

Disruption of genes that control circadian rhythms can lead to diabetes. Mice with defective copies of the genes develop abnormalities in pancreatic cells that eventually render the cells unable to release insulin.

Circadian rhythms are cyclical patterns in biological activities. The results of the study suggest that disruption of your daily clock could also contribute to diabetes by impairing your pancreas' ability to deliver insulin.

Eurekalert reports:

“The researchers examined pancreatic islet beta cells, which secrete insulin when blood sugar levels increase. They genetically engineered some mice to have defective CLOCK genes and some to also lack the BMAL1 gene ... [S]tudy showed that the islet cells in the mutant animals created normal amounts of insulin, but the CLOCK mutant cells were defective in releasing the hormone.”

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