Synchronization of metabolic rhythms regulated by circadian clock and meal timing is essential for maintaining nutrient homeostasis in response to fluctuating food intake in animals. Despite numerous experimental findings on the involvement of circadian regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, the optimal regulatory strategy for the maintenance of energy homeostasis remains poorly defined. A mathematical framework is useful to assess the circadian regulation of glycogen production/breakdown and de novo lipogenesis/lipolysis by evaluating the contribution of time of the day-dependent activation or the repression of each metabolic process in the maintenance of energy homeostasis. Here, we present a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of glycogen and triglyceride contents, two major forms of energy storage in the body that provide the fuel needed during different phases of food deprivation. By changing peak phases of glycogenesis and fat synthesis, we searched for the optimal phase set that minimizes the risks of two types of possible metabolic dysfunctions: (1) high blood glucose and (2) energy exhaustion. Based on the optimal phase set, we compared the level of fat accumulation between meal timing in the active and resting periods. Our results showed that an increased fat accumulation by food intake in the resting period can be the byproduct of minimizing energy homeostasis risks in the synchronized feeding schedule that animals adopt in nature. Our finding will be useful to schedule an optimal meal timing to prevent metabolic diseases caused by misalignment of biological and social time in modern society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Modelling and Simulation
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Applied Mathematics