Binge alcohol disrupts skeletal muscle core molecular clock independent of glucocorticoids

Abigail L. Tice, Joseph A. Laudato, Michael L. Rossetti, Christopher A. Wolff, Karyn A. Esser, Choogon Lee, Charles H. Lang, Cynthia Vied, Bradley S. Gordon, Jennifer L. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Circadian rhythms are central to optimal physiological function, as disruption contributes to the development of several chronic diseases. Alcohol (EtOH) intoxication disrupts circadian rhythms within liver, brain, and intestines, but it is unknown whether alcohol also disrupts components of the core clock in skeletal muscle. Female C57BL/6Hsd mice were randomized to receive either saline (control) or alcohol (EtOH) (5 g/kg) via intraperitoneal injection at the start of the dark cycle [Zeitgeber time (ZT12)], and gastrocnemius was collected every 4 h from control and EtOH-treated mice for the next 48 h following isoflurane anesthetization. In addition, metyrapone was administered before alcohol intoxication in separate mice to determine whether the alcohol-induced increase in serum corticosterone contributed to circadian gene regulation. Finally, synchronized C2C12 myotubes were treated with alcohol (100 mM) to assess the influence of centrally or peripherally mediated effects of alcohol on the muscle clock. Alcohol significantly disrupted mRNA expression of Bmal1, Per1/2, and Cry1/2 in addition to perturbing the circadian pattern of clock-controlled genes, Myod1, Dbp, Tef, and Bhlhe40 (P < 0.05), in muscle. Alcohol increased serum corticosterone levels and glucocorticoid target gene, Redd1, in muscle. Metyrapone prevented the EtOH-mediated increase in serum corticosterone but did not normalize the EtOH-induced change in Per1, Cry1 and Cry2, and Myod1 mRNA expression. Core clock gene expression (Bmal, Per1/2, and Cry1/2) was not changed following 4, 8, or 12 h of alcohol treatment on synchronized C2C12 myotubes. Therefore, binge alcohol disrupted genes of the core molecular clock independently of elevated serum corticosterone or direct effects of EtOH on the muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E606-E620
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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