Diurnal Variations in Immunity


Many aspects of immune systems show diurnal variations depending on environmental and physical conditions, which are driven by internal circadian biological clocks and have been widely observed. Diurnal oscillations of immune mediators coordinate with the activity of the immune system, possibly allowing the host to anticipate and handle microbial threats more efficiently. These oscillations may also contribute to stimulation of organ proliferation, recovery and the clearance of potentially harmful cellular elements from the circulation. In addition, abnormal diurnal oscillations in immune system are associated with inflammation response induced by disorders or dysregulation of behaviour, physiology, metabolism, disease symptoms or response to drugs treatment. The overview of diurnal variations perspective of human immune system may provide novel strategies in clinical treatment.

Key Concepts

  • Diurnal variations in immunity exist widely in nature.
  • Diurnal variations in immunity show differences between species, for example mouse and human.
  • Diurnal variations in immunity are regulated by clock genes.
  • Disruptions of circadian oscillations of immune system are closely associated with human diseases.
  • Chrono‐immunotherapeutics should be attracting more attention in clinical treatment.

Keywords: circadian rhythm; inflammation; cell migration; immune cell function; chrono‐immunotherapeutics

Figure 1. Diurnal oscillations of immune parameters between rodent and human.
Figure 2. Human diseases associated with abnormal diurnal oscillations of immune system.


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Further Reading

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Zhao, Yue, and Chen, Qingfeng(Feb 2019) Diurnal Variations in Immunity. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0028361]