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Circadian Rhythms in Gastrointestinal Health and Diseases

  • Faraz Bishehsari
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests Address requests for reprints to: Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD, and Ali Keshavarzian, MD, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Francis Levi
    Affiliations
    Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, UK

    Cancer Chronotherapy and Post-Operative Liver Team, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Villejuif, France
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  • Fred W. Turek
    Affiliations
    Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Ali Keshavarzian
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests Address requests for reprints to: Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD, and Ali Keshavarzian, MD, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    Search for articles by this author
      Circadian clocks are present in most organisms and mediate the interplay between the environment and physiologic processes.
      • Hogenesch J.B.
      • Herzog E.D.
      Intracellular and intercellular processes determine robustness of the circadian clock.
      Normally, clocks adjust physiologic responses to anticipated stimuli times. Disruption of circadian clocks/rhythms exacerbates several chronic diseases. The “central” circadian pacemaker is in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus and is responsible for biological rhythms regulated by the light/dark cycle (LDC). Peripheral tissues show circadian oscillations that are coordinated by the central pacemaker.
      • Mohawk J.A.
      • Green C.B.
      • Takahashi J.S.
      Central and peripheral circadian clocks in mammals.
      The LDC entrains circadian rhythms over a 24-hour cycle, enabling organisms to adapt to environmental changes. Peripheral tissues also possess self-sustaining, entrainable circadian timers not regulated by the LDC. In particular, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and liver, which mediate food processing, are entrained by food and eating times.
      • Stenvers D.J.
      • Jonkers C.F.
      • Fliers E.
      • et al.
      Nutrition and the circadian timing system.
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