Study Unveils Importance of Synchronizing Central and Peripheral Clocks for Tissue Health

Importance of Synchronizing Central and Peripheral Clocks for Tissue Health | The Lifesciences Magazine

Understanding Circadian Clocks

Since their discovery in the 1970s, circadian clocks have been recognized as vital regulators of biological time across various cells in the human body. These internal timekeepers orchestrate biological processes on a 24-hour cycle, ensuring synchronization with daily environmental changes. Led by Dr. Salvador Aznar Benitah from IRB Barcelona and Dr. Pura Muñoz-Cánoves from Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), a recent study delves into the coordination between central and peripheral clocks, shedding light on their role in maintaining tissue health and combating aging-related degeneration.

Key Findings on Muscle Coordination

Published in Science, the research reveals the intricate communication between the central clock in the brain and peripheral clocks in muscle tissue. Dr. Aznar Benitah’s team demonstrates the critical importance of this coordination in preserving daily muscle function and averting premature aging. Restoring circadian rhythms, either through synchronization with the central clock or time-restricted feeding, significantly improves muscle mass, strength, and metabolic functions in aging mouse models. These findings offer promising avenues for therapeutic interventions targeting muscular aging and enhancing physical performance in older individuals.

Insights into Skin Clock Integration

In a parallel study published in Cell Stem Cell, the team explores the role of the skin’s peripheral clock in regulating daily physiological processes. Integrating signals from the central clock, the skin clock ensures optimal tissue function by adapting to specific environmental cues, such as exposure to ultraviolet light. Surprisingly, in the absence of the peripheral clock, the central clock exhibits altered circadian rhythms, highlighting the critical role of peripheral clock modulation. Dr. Thomas Mortimer and Dr. Patrick-Simon Welz lead this investigation, emphasizing the significance of synchronizing central and peripheral clocks for maintaining skin health.

The collaborative effort involved international researchers and received funding from various sources, including the European Research Council and the “la Caixa” Foundation. These findings provide valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying tissue function and aging, paving the way for innovative therapies targeting circadian clock synchronization to promote overall health and well-being.

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