Early sex-specific modulation of the molecular clock in trauma

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BACKGROUNDImmune system biology and most physiologic functions are tightly linked to circadian rhythms. Time of day–dependent variations in many biologic parameters also play a fundamental role in the disease process. We previously showed that the genes encoding the peripheral molecular clock were modulated in a sex-dependent manner in Q fever.METHODSHere, we examined severe trauma patients at admission to the intensive care unit. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, the whole-blood expression of the molecular clock components ARNTL, CLOCK, and PER2 was assessed in male and female trauma patients. Healthy volunteers of both sexes were used as controls.RESULTSWe observed a significant overexpression of both ARNTL and CLOCK in male trauma patients.CONCLUSIONWe report, for the first time, the sex-related modulation of the molecular clock genes in the blood following severe trauma. These results emphasize the role of circadian rhythms in the immune response in trauma patients.LEVEL OF EVIDENCEEpidemiologic study, level IV.

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