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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss Body clock 'alters' immune system at the General Discussion; It has been known the body is more susceptible regarding its immune system at various points during the day, but ...

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:08 AM
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Default Body clock 'alters' immune system

It has been known the body is more susceptible regarding its immune system at various points during the day, but recent studies have discovered more specific details. They hope drugs one day can adjust this weakness.

The time of the day could be an important factor in the risk of getting an infection, according to researchers in the US.

They showed how a protein in the immune system was affected by changes in the chemistry of the body through the day.

The findings, published in the journal Immunity, showed the time of an infection changed its severity.

An expert said drugs were likely to take advantage of the body clock in the near future.

Plants, animals and even bacteria go through a daily 24-hour routine, known as a circadian rhythm. Jet lag is what happens when the body gets out of sync with its surroundings after crossing time zones.

It has been known that there are variations in the immune system throughout the day. Researchers are now drilling down into the details.

The immune system needs to detect an infection before it can begin to fight it off. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine were investigating one of the proteins involved in the detection process - Toll-like receptor nine (TLR9), which can spot DNA from bacteria and viruses.

In experiments on mice, the scientists showed that the amount of TLR9 produced and the way it functioned was controlled by the body clock and varied through the day.

Immunising mice at the peak of TLR9 activity improved the immune response, the researchers said.

They said humans with sepsis, blood poisoning, were known to be at a greater risk of death between 02:00 and 06:00.

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When testing mice, the severity of sepsis depended on the time of day infection started and coincided with changes in TLR9 activity.

Prof Erol Fikrig, who conducted the study at Yale University, said they had found a "direct molecular link between circadian rhythms and the immune system", which could have "important implications for the prevention and treatment of disease".

He added: "It does appear that disruptions of the circadian clock influence our susceptibility to pathogens."

Dr Akhilesh Reddy, who is researching circadian rhythms at the University of Cambridge, said it was "known long ago" that timing had an impact on the immune system, but this was "one of the first forays" into the reasons why.

The implications for healthcare could mean that drugs need to be given at certain times of day in order to make them more effective, or drugs could be made which actually target the body clock to put the immune system into its most active phase.

Dr Reddy said drug companies were "all switching onto this" and were "now screening drugs at different times of the day".

He could see the body clock impacting medicine "within 10 years".
BBC News - Body clock 'alters' immune system


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Old 10-02-2017, 03:04 PM
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Three Americans win 2017 Nobel Prize in medicine for research on circadian clocks
October 2, 2017 - Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Monday for their research into what controls circadian rhythms — the internal clock that governs how humans, animals and plants behave throughout the day and night.
Thanks in part to their discoveries, scientists and doctors now know these day-and-night cycles keep creatures alive by regulating our alertness, sleep patterns, blood pressure, hormones, body temperature and when we eat.

Who are the winners: All three recipients are Americans who made their Nobel prize-winning discoveries by working with fruit flies, a popular animal model for neurobiology and genetics experiments. Jeffrey C. Hall, 72, is currently a geneticist at the University of Maine, but conducted his groundbreaking work with biologist Michael Rosbash, 73, at Brandeis University near Boston. In the 1980s, the pair collaborated with geneticist Michael W. Young, 68, of Rockefeller University in New York to characterize what are known as the “period” and “timeless” genes.

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Monday for their research into what controls circadian rhythms.

A decade earlier, geneticists Seymour Benzer and Ronald Konopka had discovered that mutations of the period gene disrupted the cycle of regular movements and egg hatching that fruit flies normally go through during a 24-hour period. Some flies went through their activities on shortened, nine-hour loops, while the schedule for others lengthened to 28 hours. Hall, Rosbash and Young wound up pinpointing the location of the period and timeless genes within the fruit fly genome and working out what their proteins do. (Reminder: Genes located on our DNA make proteins. Proteins make up our cells, our bodies and everything we do).

What they did: Scientists had known about circadian rhythms since 1729, when astronomer Jean Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan placed a mimosa plant into a dark room and noticed that the plant’s leaves still opened and closed at the same times every day. Through a series of breakthroughs, Hall, Rosbash and Young showed these internal clocks are self-regulated. In the morning, sunlight switches on the “period” gene, which begins to produce its protein. This protein accumulates in the cytoplasm, the chunky space in our cells that surrounds the nucleus where our DNA and the period gene are housed. “I just thought it was a terrific problem,” Michael W. Young said about why he decided to take on the mystery of circadian rhythms.


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Old 10-02-2017, 05:24 PM
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