Rev-erbα heterozygosity produces a dose-dependent phenotypic advantage in mice

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Numerous mutational studies have demonstrated that circadian clock proteins regulate behavior and metabolism. Nr1d1(Rev-erbα) is a key regulator of circadian gene expression and a pleiotropic regulator of skeletal muscle homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Loss of Rev-erbα expression induces muscular atrophy, high adiposity, and metabolic syndrome in mice. Here we show that, unlike knockout mice, Nr1d1 heterozygous mice are not susceptible to muscular atrophy and in fact paradoxically possess larger myofiber diameters and improved neuromuscular function, compared to wildtype mice. Heterozygous mice lacked dyslipidemia, a characteristic of Nr1d1 knockout mice and displayed increased whole-body fatty-acid oxidation during periods of inactivity (light cycle). Heterozygous mice also exhibited higher rates of glucose uptake when fasted, and had elevated basal rates of gluconeogenesis compared to wildtype and knockout littermates. Rev-erbα ablation suppressed glycolysis and fatty acid-oxidation in white-adipose tissue (WAT), whereas partial Rev-erbα loss, curiously stimulated these processes. Our investigations revealed that Rev-erbα dose-dependently regulates glucose metabolism and fatty acid oxidation in WAT and muscle.



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