Watching the clock in asthma

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Science  04 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6388, pp. 504
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6388.504-b

Asthma symptoms often show variations based on circadian rhythms. Ehlers et al. report that mice missing a functional circadian clock (Bmal1−/−) are more susceptible to acute bronchiolitis and chronic asthma-like inflammation after infection with Sendai virus. Similar, though less potent, effects were observed when wild-type mice were subjected to a chronic jet lag model. Concordantly, airway cells from human asthmatics show altered clock gene expression patterns. The disruption of circadian rhythms alters interferon-related antiviral responses and enhances the M2 macrophage phenotype. Thus, one way that the circadian clock may play a role in some forms of asthma is by regulating immune responses to respiratory viral infections. Still uncertain is the role of these genes in other forms of the disease, including atopic asthma.

Mucosal Immunol. 11, 97 (2018).

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