Recent research discovered that the body clock controls the way and scale of the inflammatory response. This may open no therapeutic opportunities when treating patients that suffer from increased inflammation such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and asthma among other.
By understating how the body clock influences inflammation researchers can develop targeted treatments that may provide a better response and quality of life. It also understood why people that suffer from body clock disruption are more liable to some of these diseases.
Our body clock functions as an innate timing mechanism, regulating every cell in our body, and allowing it to anticipate stimulus and respond to its surrounding in an efficient manner. While inflammation is a normal body process that allows it to repair itself, if it is left unchecked a serious disease may soon appear in its wake. The study was a joint project between the Royal College of Surgeons and the Dublin-based Trinity College.
According to Dr. Annie Curtis, one of the authors, the inflammation in our body is produced by key cells called macrophages. It has been discovered that they react differently, depending on the time of the day at which the damage is detected or if the body clock is disrupted.
The scientist observed how the boy clock impacts the macrophages in diseases such as asthma and multiple sclerosis. The results are important but they are not complete, as further research is needed in order to properly track down the exact cause of the different reactions.
Until now, it is considered that the main regulator is the BMAL! Protein, which controls the flow of another protein called NRF2, which controls another protein that is responsible for the inflammatory reaction.
The study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal in August. It remains to be seen how will the results help patients in the long run, but they seem promising for now.