Circadian rhythms in skin and other elastic tissues

Michael J Sherratt, Louise Hopkinson, Mark Naven, Sarah A Hibbert, Matiss Ozols, Alexander Eckersley, Victoria L Newton, Mike Bell, Qing-Jun Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Circadian rhythms are daily oscillations that, in mammals, are driven by both a master clock, located in the brain, and peripheral clocks in cells and tissues. Approximately 10% of the transcriptome, including extracellular matrix components, is estimated to be under circadian control. Whilst it has been established that certain collagens and extracellular matrix proteases are diurnally regulated (for example in tendon, cartilage and intervertebral disc) the role played by circadian rhythms in mediating elastic fiber homeostasis is poorly understood. Skin, arteries and lungs are dynamic, resilient, elastic fiber-rich organs and tissues. In skin, circadian rhythms influence cell migration and proliferation, wound healing and susceptibility of the tissues to damage (from protease activity, oxidative stress and ultraviolet radiation). In the cardiovascular system, blood pressure and heart rate also follow age-dependent circadian rhythms whilst the lungs exhibit diurnal variations in immune response. In order to better understand these processes it will be necessary to characterise diurnal changes in extracellular matrix biology. In particular, given the sensitivity of peripheral clocks to external factors, the timed delivery of interventions (chronotherapy) has the potential to significantly improve the efficacy of treatments designed to repair and regenerate damaged cutaneous, vascular and pulmonary tissues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMatrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology
Early online date15 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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