Coordinate Regulation of Cholesterol and Bile Acid Metabolism by the Clock Modifier Nobiletin in Metabolically Challenged Old Mice.Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 01; 20(17)IJ
Cholesterol and bile acid (BA) homeostasis plays a central role in systemic metabolism. Accumulating evidence suggests a key regulatory function of the circadian clock, our biological timer, in lipid metabolism, particularly cholesterol and bile acid flux. Previously, we showed that Nobiletin (NOB), a natural compound targeting the ROR (Retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor) nuclear receptors in the circadian oscillator, strongly protects lipid homeostasis, including normal serum cholesterol levels in high-fat (HF) fed mice at both young and old ages. In this study, we further examined the role of NOB in cholesterol metabolism in HF-fed aged mice, and found that NOB lowered the serum LDL/VLDL cholesterol levels and consequently the LDL/HDL ratio. BA levels in the serum were markedly reduced in the HF.NOB group, and examination of additional hepatic markers further indicate a protective role of NOB in the liver. At the molecular level, whereas HF feeding downregulated hepatic expression of several ROR target genes involved in bile acid synthesis, NOB treatment (HF.NOB) was able to rescue it. In accordance, fecal BA excretion was enhanced by NOB, and microbial 16S sequencing revealed alteration of several taxa known to be involved in secondary BA production in the gut. Together, these results demonstrate concerted effects of the clock-modulating compound NOB in cholesterol and BA metabolism, suggesting pharmacological manipulation of the clock as a novel therapeutic strategy against metabolic disorders and age-related decline.