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The arrival of circadian medicine

Circadian rhythm research is beginning to show how rhythms sustain health. Genome-wide transcriptome, metabolome and proteome studies have improved our understanding of circadian regulation. This knowledge is leveraged for behavioural interventions that optimize daily rhythms, the timing of drug delivery and the targeting of clock components to prevent or treat chronic diseases.

Key advances

  • A reference human circadian transcriptome atlas elucidated tissue-specific circadian regulation1.

  • The human plasma proteome shows diurnal changes and shift work affects a subset of these temporal changes4,5.

  • A high-fat diet disrupts the temporal coordination of transcripts and metabolites across multiple organs in rodents6.

  • Time-restricted eating among men at risk of prediabetes improves blood glucose control and reduces blood pressure without causing weight loss7.

  • Timed administration of drugs without changing dosage can improve potency of anti-inflammatory drugs and pharmacological targeting of circadian clock is a new approach to treat cancer9,10.

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Correspondence to Satchidananda Panda.

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Competing interests

S.P. has written a book “The Circadan Code” for which he is paid royalty.

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Panda, S. The arrival of circadian medicine. Nat Rev Endocrinol 15, 67–69 (2019).

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