The body clock, also known as the circadian rhythms, can be thrown off balance easily, by losing sleep, for example, or staying awake during the night. Now, experts show how such habits can lead to an increased level of inflammation affecting the body.
Tampering with the body clock is known to change the inner chemistry of humans so that diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cancer can set in more easily. The new study demonstrates that a key component of the circadian rhythm, called cryptochrome (CRY), can lead to excessive inflammation.
CRY is responsible for slowing down the clock's activity. It acts every night when it's time to sleep, letting our bodies know it's time to go to bed. Experts at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found that low concentrations of the molecule lead to the activation of an inflammation-boosting pathway.
“Our results strongly indicate that an arrhythmic clock system, induced by the absence of CRY proteins, alone is sufficient to increase the stress level of cells, leading to the constant expression of inflammatory proteins and causing low-grade, chronic inflammation,” the team explains, quoted by Science Blog