Sunday, February 26, 2012

Circadian Rhythm Also Influences Body Immune System

Circadian rhythm, the biological clock is responsible for several aspect of human life. It is the cause for jet lag, linked to timing of heart attack; linked to obesity and diabetes also.
Old Clocks
Old Clocks (Photo credit: servus)

Now, it has been seen that immune system function is also influenced by circadian rhythm, which varies in 24 hours of a day; meaning it is in peak for some periods of time and lean at some other periods of a day.
Researchers from US have shown that a protein in the immune system was affected by changes in the chemistry of the body through the day.
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 nuclear structure from bacteria and viruses.
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.
Disruptions of the circadian clock can influence our susceptibility to pathogens. 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.
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