Skip to main content

How our biological clock affects wound healing

Dr Robert Dallmann comments:

Dallman"This is a very interesting and important study by Hoyle and colleagues that showcases the impact of circadian clocks on the speed of wound healing. While this time-of-day difference in wound healing was previously known, the important advance here is that they suggest a mechanism that explains how it matters at what time of day a skin wound is inflicted. The knowledge of “how” is immensely valuable to exploiting the clock in the clinic for the benefit of the patient.

"After the discovery of the molecular clock mechanism in the 1980s - that recently was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine to Hall/Rosbash/Young - much has been learned on how circadian clocks modulate human physiology and impact on diseases.

"Currently, a growing number of studies apply this knowledge of fundamental biological processes to uncover and - importantly - explain significant and previously under appreciated time-of-day effects in the clinic. In many areas of medicine, we had recent reports that time-of-day matters.

"For example, vaccination in the morning leads to higher antibody titers, i.e., is more effective, which is at least partially due to the clock controlled movement of immune cells in and out of the lymph nodes. Also, we know that many drugs can have very different effects depending on the time of day they are taken. For example in the case of highly toxic chemotherapy drugs optimal time of application has been shown to extent the life of patients in clinical trial."

Dr Dallman trained as a circadian biologist and in vivo pharmacologist. His research is focused on the interplay between the intricate internal timing system significantly modulating most physiological processes, and disease and pharmacotherapy. Understanding - on a mechanistic level - how circadian disruption can lead to and influence disease progression and treatment is the main focus of his work.

9 November 2017

Contact:

Sheila Kiggins,

Media Relations Manager, Social Science

+44 (0) 7876 218166

+44 (0) 2476 150 423

s.kiggins@warwick.ac.uk