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Circadian Rhythms in Immunity

Abstract

Purpose of Review

This review is focused on the existing evidence for circadian control of innate and adaptive immune responses to provide a framework for evaluating the contributions of diurnal rhythms to control of infections and pathogenesis of disease.

Recent Findings

Circadian rhythms driven by cell-autonomous biological clocks are central to innate and adaptive immune responses against microbial pathogens. Research during the past few years has uncovered circadian circuits governing leukocyte migration between tissues, the magnitude of mucosal inflammation, the types of cytokines produced, and the severity of immune diseases. Other studies revealed how disruption of the circadian clock impairs immune function or how microbial products alter clock machinery.

Summary

Revelations concerning the widespread impact of the circadian clock on immunity and homeostasis highlight how the timing of inflammatory challenges can dictate pathological outcomes and how the timing of therapeutic interventions likely determines clinical efficacy. An improved understanding of circadian circuits controlling immune function will facilitate advances in circadian immunotherapy.

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Fig. 1

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Acknowledgments

I wish to thank Lauren Francey and John Hogenesch for reading the manuscript and providing helpful feedback.

Funding Information

The author is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants DA038017, AI148080, and AR073228, as well as by the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.

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Correspondence to Stephen N. Waggoner.

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Waggoner, S.N. Circadian Rhythms in Immunity. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 20, 2 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-020-0896-9

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Keywords

  • Clock
  • Migration
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Microbiota
  • Infection