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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Jul 10;19(2):192-208. doi: 10.1089/ars.2012.4889. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Circadian rhythm connections to oxidative stress: implications for human health.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.



Oxygen and circadian rhythmicity are essential in a myriad of physiological processes to maintain homeostasis, from blood pressure and sleep/wake cycles, down to cellular signaling pathways that play critical roles in health and disease. If the human body or cells experience significant stress, their ability to regulate internal systems, including redox levels and circadian rhythms, may become impaired. At cellular as well as organismal levels, impairment in redox regulation and circadian rhythms may lead to a number of adverse effects, including the manifestation of a variety of diseases such as heart diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and cancer.


Researchers have come to an understanding as to the basics of the circadian rhythm mechanism, as well as the importance of the numerous species of oxidative stress components. The effects of oxidative stress and dysregulated circadian rhythms have been a subject of intense investigations since they were first discovered, and recent investigations into the molecular mechanisms linking the two have started to elucidate the bases of their connection.


While much is known about the mechanics and importance of oxidative stress systems and circadian rhythms, the front where they interact has had very little research focused on it. This review discusses the idea that these two systems are together intricately involved in the healthy body, as well as in disease.


We believe that for a more efficacious management of diseases that have both circadian rhythm and oxidative stress components in their pathogenesis, targeting both systems in tandem would be far more successful.

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