Our Body’s Internal Clock Matters for Fighting Off Viral Infections.
Our immune system is regulated by ‘circadian rhythms’, the inbuilt cellular clocks that are found in many living things. These rhythms allow regular changes in biological behaviour, enabling organisms to anticipate and respond to environmental changes, irrespective of whether they are beneficial or noxious. In humans, the most obvious reminder of our circadian clocks is our daily sleep–wake cycle, but their influence is much wider, impacting hormone release, cell regeneration, body temperature and metabolism. The immune system is in its prime state when attacks are most likely and undergoes the necessary repair and regeneration when the body is resting. This article was the result of investigations by the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge on strategy and timing of how an organism’s immune system defend against the unrelenting invasion of pathogens.
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