var useSSL = ‘https:’ == document.location.protocol;
var src = (useSSL ? ‘https:’ : ‘http:’) +
–><!– –><!– –>
Welcome to Medical News Today
Healthline Media, Inc. would like to process and share personal data (e.g., mobile ad id) and data about your use of our site (e.g., content interests) with our third party partners (see a current list) using cookies and similar automatic collection tools in order to a) personalize content and/or offers on our site or other sites, b) communicate with you upon request, and/or c) for additional reasons upon notice and, when applicable, with your consent.
Healthline Media, Inc. is based in and operates this site from the United States. Any data you provide will be primarily stored and processed in the United States, pursuant to the laws of the United States, which may provide lesser privacy protections than European Economic Area countries.
Body clocks can affect the effectiveness of immune responses, according to a recent study.
Circadian rhythms, which people commonly refer to as “body clocks,” are the body’s automatic means of adjusting biological mechanisms, such as hunger and the need for sleep, according to natural rhythms, such as the day-night cycle.
Body clocks also regulate other “self-drive” mechanisms, including breathing, heartbeat, and body temperature.
Researchers already know that circadian rhythms influence many different aspects of our internal mechanisms. However, they do not yet know the full extent to which these “clocks” help determine our well-being.
Circadian rhythms are common to all mammals. So, a team of investigators from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the Université de Montréal in Canada studied mice to find out whether body clocks can affect how well the immune response works.
Through their study, the scientists found that the CD8 T immune cells that the body uses to fight off infections and cancer tumors work with various degrees of efficiency at different times of the day. The research team reports these findings in PNAS.
Time of day affects T cell response
The researchers worked with two groups of mice. They genetically engineered the first group by switching off specific genes that regulate circadian rhythms and left the genes naturally active in the second group.
The team administered a vaccine to rodents from both these groups to trigger an immune response.
“Using a mouse vaccine model, we observed that after vaccination, the strength of the CD8 T cell response varied according to the time of day,” says one of the study authors, Prof. Nicolas Cermakian.
“Conversely, in mice whose CD8 T cells were deficient for the clock gene, this circadian rhythm was abolished, and response to the vaccine was diminished in the daytime,” Prof. Cermakian continues.
Earlier studies had already hinted that the time of day might influence the proliferation of immune cells, including T cells. However, it had remained unclear whether this came as a result of circadian rhythm interference or not.
By working with both genetically engineered mice and regular mice, the researchers were able to establish that body clocks do play a role in modulating the effectiveness of immune responses. However, the pathway through which this happens remains a mystery.
“Our study shows that T cells are more prone to be activated at certain times of the day. Identifying the mechanisms through which the biological clock modulates the T cell response will help us better understand the processes that regulate optimal T cell responses.”
Co-author Prof. Nathalie Labrecque
“This knowledge will contribute to improving vaccination strategies and cancer immune therapies,” Prof. Labrecque notes.
This study and its successors, the researchers write in their paper, could allow scientists to develop a vaccination approach that will take into account the time of day to maximize the vaccine’s potency.
How to stay healthy with a weak immune system
People who have a weak immune system tend to get frequent, severe infections. Techniques and lifestyle changes that may help a person stay healthy include managing stress, getting enough sleep, and practicing proper hygiene. Learn more about how to stay healthy with a weak immune system here.
What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?
A regular, sufficient sleeping pattern is vital to good physical and mental health. This MNT Knowledge Center article explores and explains biphasic and polyphasic sleep patterns. MNT looks at how these sleep patterns affect your health and ways to improve your sleep.
What is the pineal gland?
Once called the third eye, the pineal gland is a gland located deep in the center of the brain. It secretes melatonin, which affects the body clock and other functions. Signs of a problem include headache and changes in menstruation. Learn more about what the pineal gland does and what happens if dysfunction occurs.
Why do I always feel sick?
Sometimes, people find they are always nauseous, run-down, or catching colds. They can feel sick with or without vomiting, while nausea may come and go or persist. There are many reasons why a person may always feel sick, including anxiety, stress, pregnancy, and diet. Find out more and about treatments here.
var deferCSS_place = document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’);
// 3. insert object before