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Irregular Body Clock Plays a Role in the Most Prevalent Diseases


When these cell rhythms are disrupted (due to things like erratic eating/sleeping patterns or shift work), the cells produce molecules that drive inflammation.

This can lead to chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer, and also impact our ability to fight infection.

In this study, researchers looked at these key immune cells called macrophages with and without a body clock under laboratory conditions.

They were interested to understand if macrophages without a body clock might use or ‘metabolize’ fuel differently, and if that might be the reason these cells produce more inflammatory products.

They found that macrophages without a body clock took up far more glucose and broke it down more quickly than normal cells.

They also found that in the mitochondria (the cells energy powerhouse), the pathways by which glucose was further broken down to produce energy were very different in macrophages without a clock. This led to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which further fuelled inflammation.

The study results add to the growing body of work showing why disruption of our body clock leads to inflammatory and infectious disease, and one of the aspects is fuel usage at the level of key immune cells such as macrophages.

Source: Medindia

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