Developing Circadian Therapeutics Against Age-Related Metabolic Decline

  • Kazunari Nohara
  • Seung-Hee Yoo
  • Zheng Chen
Part of the Healthy Ageing and Longevity book series (HAL, volume 7)


Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in metabolism and physiology throughout the body, and the complex physiological basis is not fully understood. A key intrinsic mechanism to safeguard our physiological well-being is the circadian clock, the biological timer that coordinates diverse essential processes. Epidemiological and genetic studies in the past two decades have established a crucial role of the clock system in metabolic homeostasis and physiological health. Accumulating evidence also points to a functional link between clock decline (e.g., amplitude dampening) and metabolic aging. In this chapter, we review a close relationship among energy homeostasis, aging and the circadian clock. We also describe the current efforts to identify novel small-molecule therapeutics that enhance circadian and metabolic functions. Given that a weakened clock is in part responsible for the metabolic deterioration during aging, such circadian-based therapeutics could be exploited to decelerate metabolic decline and ultimately promote healthy aging.


Circadian clock Age-related metabolic decline Small molecules Circadian amplitude Mitochondria 



This work was in part supported by the Robert A. Welch Foundation (AU-1731) and NIH/NIA (R01 AG045828) to Z.C., and NIH/NIGMS (R01 GM114424) to S.-H.Y.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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