Endogenous circadian regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the presence of bacterial lipopolysaccharide in humans

Shadab A. Rahman, Oscar Castanon-Cervantes, Frank A J L Scheer, Steven A. Shea, Charles A. Czeisler, Alec J. Davidson, Steven W. Lockley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Various aspects of immune response exhibit 24-h variations suggesting that infection susceptibility and treatment efficacy may vary by time of day. Whether these 24-h variations are endogenous or evoked by changes in environmental or behavioral conditions is not known. We assessed the endogenous circadian control and environmental and behavioral influences on ex-vivo lipopolysaccharide stimulation of whole blood in thirteen healthy participants under 48. h of baseline conditions with standard sleep-wake schedules and 40-50. h of constant environmental and behavioral (constant routine; CR) conditions. Significant 24-h rhythms were observed under baseline conditions in Monocyte Chemotactic Protein, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor and Interleukin 8 but not Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha whereas significant 24-h rhythms were observed in all four immune factors under CR conditions. The rhythm amplitudes, expressed as a percentage of mean, were comparable between immune factors and across conditions. In contrast, the acrophase time (time of the fitted peak) was different between immune factors, and included daytime and nighttime peaks and changes across behavioral conditions. These results suggest that the endogenous circadian system underpins the temporal organization of immune responses in humans with additional effects of external environmental and behavioral cycles. These findings have implications for understanding the adverse effects of recurrent circadian disruption and sleep curtailment on immune function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-13
Number of pages10
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokine
  • Circadian
  • Cytokine
  • Human
  • Immune response
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Melatonin
  • Sleep

Cite this