The connection of circadian rhythm to inflammatory bowel disease

  • Marie Gombert
    Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

    Department of Biotechnology, University of La Rochelle, La Rochelle, France
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  • Joaquín Carrasco-Luna
    Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

    Department Experimental Sciences, Catholic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
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  • Gonzalo Pin-Arboledas
    Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Sleep Unit, Hospital Quironsalud, Valencia, Spain
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  • Pilar Codoñer-Franch
    Reprint requests: Pilar Codoñer-Franch, Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Peset University Hospital, Avenida Gaspar Aguilar 90, Valencia 46017, Spain.
    Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

    Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Peset University Hospital, Valencia, Spain
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Published:December 18, 2018DOI:
      Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) comprises a group of chronic, immune system-mediated inflammatory diseases that primarily affect the gastrointestinal tract. The pathogenesis of the intestinal lesions in IBD remains elusive, but the inflammation process could be the result of dysfunction of the innate and adaptive immune systems induced by genetic and environmental factors. In recent years, research has demonstrated a connection between environmental stressors that can influence day–night variations, also called circadian rhythms, and digestive health. In this review, we focus on alterations in the complex interactions between intestinal mucosa, microbial factors, and the immune response in the intestinal milieu. We introduce the mechanisms that establish circadian rhythms and their regulation by the circadian rhythm genes. Evidence of circadian variation in the defense mechanisms of the intestine and its implication in the maintenance of a healthy microbiota are presented. Disruption of the circadian system can increase the activity of the gut immune system and the release of inflammatory factors. The link between chronodisruption or circadian rhythm impairment and IBD demonstrated by experimental and clinical studies illustrates the potential impact of circadian rhythms on treatment of these diseases. Future studies that investigate aspects of this subject are warranted.


      CD (Crohn's disease), DSS (dextran sodium sulfate), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), IEC (intestinal epithelial cell), IL (interleukin), LPS (lipopolysaccharide), TLRs (Toll-like receptors), UC (ulcerative colitis)
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