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Does the immune system's response change depending on the time?
Our internal biological clock affects the effectiveness of the immune response. Immune system cells function very differently depending on the time of day.
The latest research by the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center found that the time of day had a major impact on the function of the cells of the immune system. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS).
Effectiveness of the immune response varies
The researchers found that CD8 T cells, which are essential for fighting infections and cancer, work differently depending on the time of day.
Special genes influence our circadian rhythms
Circadian rhythms are generated by what are known as clock genes, which affect most organs and cells, including those of the immune system, so that their function varies depending on the time of day. So there are circadian rhythms for various aspects of physiology, including sleep, nutrition, hormonal activity, and body temperature. These daily rhythms help the body adapt to cyclical changes in the environment, such as seasons, day and night cycles, the researchers report.
Strength of the cell response depends on the time of day
In previous studies, the team had already found that, depending on the time of day, T cells react more or less strongly to a foreign body. However, the role of the biological clock remained unknown. Using a vaccine model with mice, it was found that the strength of the CD8 T cell response after vaccination varied depending on the time of day. In mice whose CD8 T cells were deficient for the clock gene, this circadian rhythm was abolished and the response to the vaccine was less during the day, the researchers explain.
T cells are activated more often at certain times of the day
The study shows that T cells are activated more often at certain times of the day. By identifying the mechanisms that the biological clock modulates the T cell response, researchers can better understand processes that regulate the optimal T cell response. The findings of the current study will help to expand this knowledge. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Chloé C. Nobis, Geneviève Dubeau Laramée, Laura Kervezee, Dave Maurice De Sousa, Nathalie Labrecque, Nicolas Cermakian: The circadian clock of CD8 T cells modulates their early response to vaccination and the rhythmicity of related signaling pathways, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (query: 25.09.2019), PNAS