Research Topic

Circadian Control of Immunity

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Circadian rhythms help organisms anticipate the recurring 24-hour cycles of day and night and partition physiological reactions to specific phases of the day. The neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain entrain to these environmental lighting rhythms, which is regulated at the molecular ...

Circadian rhythms help organisms anticipate the recurring 24-hour cycles of day and night and partition physiological reactions to specific phases of the day. The neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain entrain to these environmental lighting rhythms, which is regulated at the molecular level via positive and negative feedback loops in the expression of clock proteins, such as BMAL1, CLOCK, PER and CRY. The SCN synchronizes peripheral organs and the circadian clocks residing within their cells via humoral and neural cues. Clear evidence implicates the role of circadian rhythms on individual populations of immune cells and the function of both arms of the immune system as a whole. Numbers and activities of immune cells in blood and organs oscillate during the course of day. Furthermore, symptoms of immune-related diseases in patients tend to correlate with particular time during the day and antibody production by healthy volunteers appears to be increased when immunized in the morning compared to the evening. Thus, circadian rhythms will likely become important considerations in the clinical modulation of immune cell functions and immune responses.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art advances in the growing field of the circadian control of the immune system. Our aim is to gather articles on basic and clinical immunology related to the circadian rhythms, including diurnal neuronal and hormonal activities. We welcome the submission of Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory, and Perspective articles in the following areas:

1. Mechanisms regulating the circadian control of lymphocytes and innate immune cells, including neutrophils, eosinophils, monocytes, macrophages, and innate lymphoid cells, by clock genes.
2. Mechanisms regulating the circadian control of distribution and function of immune cells by the sympathetic nervous system.
3. Mechanisms regulating the circadian control of distribution and function of immune cells by the endocrine system.
4. Regulation of immune diseases, such as allergy and autoimmunity, by circadian rhythms.

We acknowledge the initiation and support of this Research Topic by the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS). We hereby state publicly that the IUIS has had no editorial input in articles included in this Research Topic, thus ensuring that all aspects of this Research Topic are evaluated objectively, unbiased by any specific policy or opinion of the IUIS.


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