The human circadian metabolome

Dallmann, Robert; Viola, Antoine U.; Tarokh, Leila; Cajochen, Christian; Brown, Steven A. (2012). The human circadian metabolome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS, 109(7), pp. 2625-2629. National Academy of Sciences NAS 10.1073/pnas.1114410109

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The circadian clock orchestrates many aspects of human physiology, and disruption of this clock has been implicated in various pathologies, ranging from cancer to metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Although there is evidence that metabolism and the circadian clockwork are intimately linked on a transcriptional level, whether these effects are directly under clock control or are mediated by the rest-activity cycle and the timing of food intake is unclear. To answer this question, we conducted an unbiased screen in human subjects of the metabolome of blood plasma and saliva at different times of day. To minimize indirect effects, subjects were kept in a 40-h constant routine of enforced posture, constant dim light, hourly isocaloric meals, and sleep deprivation. Under these conditions, we found that ~15% of all identified metabolites in plasma and saliva were under circadian control, most notably fatty acids in plasma and amino acids in saliva. Our data suggest that there is a strong direct effect of the endogenous circadian clock on multiple human metabolic pathways that is independent of sleep or feeding. In addition, they identify multiple potential small-molecule biomarkers of human circadian phase and sleep pressure.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Tarokh, Leila


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




National Academy of Sciences NAS




Nicole Jansen

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2014 07:35

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

metabolomics, LC/GC-MS, metabolite profiling, sleep–wake regulation


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