Our experiments provide the analysis of lipid metabolite circadian oscillations in a cellular system synchronized in vitro, suggesting cell-autonomous diurnal changes in lipid profiles independent of feeding. Moreover, our work represents a comprehensive comparison between the lipid composition of human skeletal muscle derived from sedentary healthy adults, receiving hourly isocaloric solutions, and human primary skeletal myotubes cultured in vitro. A substantial number of lipid metabolites, in particular membrane lipids, exhibited oscillatory patterns in muscle tissue and in myotube cells, where they were blunted upon cell-autonomous clock disruption. As lipid oscillations in skeletal muscle membrane lipids may impact on insulin signaling and on the development of insulin resistance, studying the temporal lipid composition of human muscle is therefore of utmost importance.

Circadian clocks play an important role in lipid homeostasis, with impact on various metabolic diseases. Due to the central role of skeletal muscle in whole-body metabolism, we aimed at studying muscle lipid profiles in a temporal manner. Moreover, it has not been shown whether lipid oscillations in peripheral tissues are driven by diurnal cycles of rest–activity and food intake or are able to persist in vitro in a cell-autonomous manner. To address this, we investigated lipid profiles over 24 h in human skeletal muscle in vivo and in primary human myotubes cultured in vitro. Glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids exhibited diurnal oscillations, suggesting a widespread circadian impact on muscle lipid metabolism. Notably, peak levels of lipid accumulation were in phase coherence with core clock gene expression in vivo and in vitro. The percentage of oscillating lipid metabolites was comparable between muscle tissue and cultured myotubes, and temporal lipid profiles correlated with transcript profiles of genes implicated in their biosynthesis. Lipids enriched in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane oscillated in a highly coordinated
manner in vivo and in vitro. Lipid metabolite oscillations were strongly attenuated upon siRNA-mediated clock disruption in human primary myotubes. Taken together, our data suggest an essential role for endogenous cell-autonomous human skeletal muscle oscillators in regulating lipid metabolism independent of external synchronizers, such as physical activity or food intake.


Ursula Loizides-MangoldLaurent PerrinBart VandereyckenJames A. BettsJean-Philippe WalhinIain TemplemanStéphanie ChanonBenjamin D. WegerChristine DurandMaud RobertJonathan Paz MontoyaMarc MoniatteLeonidas G. KaragounisJonathan D. JohnstonFrédéric GachonEtienne LefaiHoward Riezman and Charna Dibner