Optimal integration of central neural circuit regulating hunger-satiety and peripheral metabolic organs involved in nutrient metabolism is necessary for body weight regulation and metabolic homeostasis. Circadian rhythms play an important role in this integrative physiology of metabolism. At the cellular level, the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus functions as the master circadian oscillator and interacts with peripheral tissues to drive daily rhythm in activity–rest, sleep–wake, and associated rhythms in feeding–fasting. This leads to synchronization and coordination of circadian clocks in peripheral tissues. Several peripheral organs produce neural, hormonal and metabolic signals that convey the overall energy status of the organism to the hypothalamic nuclei regulating hunger and satiety. Circadian rhythms in the expression and function of key genes in both peripheral organs and hypothalamic energy sensing nuclei produce a temporally interactive regulatory mechanism for body weight regulation. Understanding this regulatory mechanism is poised to open new therapeutic avenues to combat obesity and metabolic diseases. In this review, we provide an overview of the neurobiological evidence linking circadian system and food intake regulation and update our understanding of these regulatory pathways from our latest gene expression dataset from a primate.
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