Immune system shows different effects at different times of a day and night
Researchers have recently found that “body clock” results in changes in immune system’s responses. Body clock, also known as Circadian Rhythm, is an endogenous timing system present in almost all organisms. It regulates a wide variety of metabolic activities in 24 hours period.
“People intuitively know that when their sleep patterns are disturbed, they are more likely to get sick,” said Erol Fikrig, professor of epidemiology and microbial pathogenesis, and senior author of the study. “It does appear that disruptions of the circadian clock influence our susceptibility to pathogens.”
Researchers worked on Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), an immune system protein. This protein has the ability to detect bacterial and viral DNA. Researchers have found that body clock has important effects on the TLR9 expression and function and mice model, with most responsive TLR9 expression, have an improved immune response. Researchers have also observed that sepsis severity is dependent on the timing of the sepsis induction, which correlates directly with cyclical changes in TLR9.
According to researchers, this study can help in optimizing therapeutic strategies, so that doctors will be able to prescribe medicine while considering the immune response and get better results.
“Sleep patterns of patients in intensive care are often disrupted because of the noise and prolonged exposure to artificial light,” said Fikrig, who is also an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “It will be important to investigate how these factors influence immune system response.”
Researchers have published their findings in the journal Immunity.