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Review

A Tangled Threesome: Circadian Rhythm, Body Temperature Variations, and the Immune System

1
Microbes Evolution Phylogénie et Infection, Institut Recherche et Développement, Aix-Marseille University, 13005 Marseille, France
2
Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire-Méditerranée Infection, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, 13005 Marseille, France
3
Médecine Intensive-Réanimation, Hôpital Nord, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, 13915 Marseille, France
4
Service d’Anesthésie et de Réanimation, Hôpital Nord, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, 13915 Marseille, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2021, 10(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010065
Received: 29 December 2020 / Revised: 6 January 2021 / Accepted: 10 January 2021 / Published: 18 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circadian Disruption and Metabolic Disorders)
In mammals, including humans, the body temperature displays a circadian rhythm and is maintained within a narrow range to facilitate the optimal functioning of physiological processes. Body temperature increases during the daytime and decreases during the nighttime thus influencing the expression of the molecular clock and the clock-control genes such as immune genes. An increase in body temperature (daytime, or fever) also prepares the organism to fight aggression by promoting the activation, function, and delivery of immune cells. Many factors may affect body temperature level and rhythm, including environment, age, hormones, or treatment. The disruption of the body temperature is associated with many kinds of diseases and their severity, thus supporting the assumed association between body temperature rhythm and immune functions. Recent studies using complex analysis suggest that circadian rhythm may change in all aspects (level, period, amplitude) and may be predictive of good or poor outcomes. The monitoring of body temperature is an easy tool to predict outcomes and maybe guide future studies in chronotherapy.
The circadian rhythm of the body temperature (CRBT) is a marker of the central biological clock that results from multiple complex biological processes. In mammals, including humans, the body temperature displays a strict circadian rhythm and has to be maintained within a narrow range to allow optimal physiological functions. There is nowadays growing evidence on the role of the temperature circadian rhythm on the expression of the molecular clock. The CRBT likely participates in the phase coordination of circadian timekeepers in peripheral tissues, thus guaranteeing the proper functioning of the immune system. The disruption of the CRBT, such as fever, has been repeatedly described in diseases and likely reflects a physiological process to activate the molecular clock and trigger the immune response. On the other hand, temperature circadian disruption has also been described as associated with disease severity and thus may mirror or contribute to immune dysfunction. The present review aims to characterize the potential implication of the temperature circadian rhythm on the immune response, from molecular pathways to diseases. The origin of CRBT and physiological changes in body temperature will be mentioned. We further review the immune biological effects of temperature rhythmicity in hosts, vectors, and pathogens. Finally, we discuss the relationship between circadian disruption of the body temperature and diseases and highlight the emerging evidence that CRBT monitoring would be an easy tool to predict outcomes and guide future studies in chronotherapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: body temperature; circadian rhythm; chronobiology disorders; immunity; disease body temperature; circadian rhythm; chronobiology disorders; immunity; disease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Coiffard, B.; Diallo, A.B.; Mezouar, S.; Leone, M.; Mege, J.-L. A Tangled Threesome: Circadian Rhythm, Body Temperature Variations, and the Immune System. Biology 2021, 10, 65. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010065

AMA Style

Coiffard B, Diallo AB, Mezouar S, Leone M, Mege J-L. A Tangled Threesome: Circadian Rhythm, Body Temperature Variations, and the Immune System. Biology. 2021; 10(1):65. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010065

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coiffard, Benjamin, Aïssatou B. Diallo, Soraya Mezouar, Marc Leone, and Jean-Louis Mege. 2021. "A Tangled Threesome: Circadian Rhythm, Body Temperature Variations, and the Immune System" Biology 10, no. 1: 65. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010065

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