High-calorie diet, circadian rhythms and metabolic features are intimately linked. However, the mediator(s) between nutritional status, circadian rhythms and metabolism remain largely unknown. This article aims to clarify the key metabolic pathways bridging nutritional status and circadian rhythms based on a combination of metabolomics and molecular biological techniques. A mouse model of high-fat diet-induced obesity was established and serum samples were collected in obese and normal mice at different zeitgeber times. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, multivariate/univariate data analyses and metabolic pathway analysis were used to reveal changes in metabolism. Metabolites involved in the metabolism of purines, carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids were markedly perturbed in accordance with circadian related variations, among which purine catabolism showed a typical oscillation. What’s more, the rhythmicity of purine catabolism dampened in the high-fat diet group. The expressions of clock genes and metabolic enzymes in the liver were measured. The mRNA expression of Xanthine oxidase (Xor
) was highly correlated with the rhythmicity of Clock
, as well as the metabolites involved in purine catabolism. These data showed that a high-fat diet altered the circadian rhythm of metabolic pathways, especially purine catabolism. It had an obvious circadian oscillation and a high-fat diet dampened its circadian rhythmicity. It was suggested that circadian rhythmicity of purine catabolism is related to circadian oscillations of expression of Xor
and corresponding clock genes.
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