Circadian timing is generated through a unique series of autoregulatory interactions termed the molecular clock. Behavioral rhythms subject to the molecular clock are well characterized. We demonstrate a role for Bmal1 and Clock in the regulation of glucose homeostasis. Inactivation of the known clock components Bmal1 (Mop3) and Clock suppress the diurnal variation in glucose and triglycerides. Gluconeogenesis is abolished by deletion of Bmal1 and is depressed in Clock mutants, but the counterregulatory response of corticosterone and glucagon to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia is retained. Furthermore, a high-fat diet modulates carbohydrate metabolism by amplifying circadian variation in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and mutation of Clock restores the chow-fed phenotype. Bmal1 and Clock, genes that function in the core molecular clock, exert profound control over recovery from insulin-induced hypoglycaemia. Furthermore, asynchronous dietary cues may modify glucose homeostasis via their interactions with peripheral molecular clocks.
Besides regulating various behavioral rhythms, the molecular clock plays a role in the control of glucose homeostasis