Neurobiology and Genetics

The circadian clock in Drosophila is required for rhythmic lipid transport in interaction with diet and photic condition


Lipids (fats) are macronutrients that serve as building blocks for biological membranes, signalling compounds, as well as long-term energy stores. To reach their target cells, they have to be transported in the bloodstream upon food uptake or upon mobilisation from lipid stores. This cycling of lipids can be impaired by modern lifestyle which is often at odds with endogenously driven rhythmicity, and leads to circadian disruption and metabolic syndrome. We are convinced that fruit flies can help to understand the mechanisms behind, yet it was unknown whether and how lipids cycle in the fly blood known as hemolymph.

Our collaborative research center SFB1047 "Insect timing" offered a perfect umbrella to cooperate with the Pharmaceutical Biology in the Biocenter. Our combined expertise in lipidomics, neurogenetics, chronobiology and feeding behaviour allowed us to characterise the day-to-day cycling of transport lipids and their dependence on the circadian clock  in Drosophila. Our data suggest that the circadian clock aligns daily oscillations of transport lipids in the hemolymph to the anabolic siesta phase, with a strong influence of light on phase and modality.

The results now appeared in one of the leading journals in the field, Journal of Lipid Research run by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology:

Read more here open access:

Amatobi, K.M., Ozbek-Unal, A.G., Schäbler, S., Deppisch, P., Helfrich-Förster, C., Mueller, M.J., Wegener, C., Fekete, A., 2023. The circadian clock is required for rhythmic lipid transport in Drosophila in interaction with diet and photic condition. Journal of Lipid Research 100417.