Image_5_The Hepatic Monocarboxylate Transporter 1 (MCT1) Contributes to the Regulation of Food Anticipation in Mice.JPEG
Daily recurring events can be predicted by animals based on their internal circadian timing system. However, independently from the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the central pacemaker of the circadian system in mammals, restriction of food access to a particular time of day elicits food anticipatory activity (FAA). This suggests an involvement of other central and/or peripheral clocks as well as metabolic signals in this behavior. One of the metabolic signals that is important for FAA under combined caloric and temporal food restriction is β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB). Here we show that the monocarboxylate transporter 1 (Mct1), which transports ketone bodies such as βOHB across membranes of various cell types, is involved in FAA. In particular, we show that lack of the Mct1 gene in the liver, but not in neuronal or glial cells, reduces FAA in mice. This is associated with a reduction of βOHB levels in the blood. Our observations suggest an important role of ketone bodies and its transporter Mct1 in FAA under caloric and temporal food restriction.