The connection of circadian rhythm to inflammatory bowel disease

Gombert M1, Carrasco-Luna J2, Pin-Arboledas G3, CodoÑer-Franch P4. Transl Res. 2018 Dec 19. pii: S1931-5244(18)30232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2018.12.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information


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.

© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.