Some Monocytes Got Rhythm

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Science  27 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6153, pp. 1462-1464
DOI: 10.1126/science.1244445

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The molecular mechanisms that control leukocyte migration to sites of inflammation have been a major focus of immunologists over the past 25 years. Recently, an additional dimension has been added to the physiological orchestration of leukocyte trafficking: time. On page 1483 in this issue, Nguyen et al. (1) describe a daily oscillation in monocytes present in different mouse tissues, in which there is an increase in number during the animal's time of rest and a decrease during the mouse's active phase. Moreover, this pattern of behavior is governed by a circadian gene in myeloid cells. This suggests that rhythms within this lineage control the trafficking behavior of monocytes in the organism.