How the body clock controls inflammation

How the body clock controls inflammation

In a new study, researchers at RCSI and Trinity College Dublin find how the body clock controls the inflammatory response.

The finding may help develop new therapy to treat inflammation in conditions such as asthma, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

The body clock, the timing mechanism in each cell in the body, allows the body to anticipate and respond to the 24-hour external environment.

Inflammation is normally a protective process that enables the body to clear infection or damage, but if left unchecked it can lead to disease.

Previous research has shown that macrophages are key immune cells in our bodies which produce this inflammatory response when we are injured or ill.

These cells react differently depending on the time of day that they face an infection or damage, or when we disrupt the body clock within these cells.

In the new study, the team examined the underlying molecular mechanisms by which the body clock precisely controls the inflammatory response.

They found that the central clock protein, BMAL1 regulates levels of the antioxidant response protein NRF2 to control a key inflammatory molecule called IL-1β from macrophages.

These findings may shed light on why people who experience body clock disruption such as shift workers are more susceptible to these inflammatory conditions.

The study is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

The research led by researchers at Dr. Annie Curtis’s Lab at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) in partnership with Prof. Luke O’Neill’s Lab at Trinity College Dublin.

The finding is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Source: PNAS.