Circadian rhythm is a natural, endogenous process whose physiological functions are controlled by a set of clock genes. Disturbance of the clock genes have detrimental effects on both innate and adaptive immunity, which significantly enhance pro-inflammatory responses and susceptibility to autoimmune diseases via strictly controlling the individual cellular components of the immune system that initiate and perpetuate the inflammation pathways. Autoimmune diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA), often exhibit substantial circadian oscillations, and circadian rhythm is involved in the onset and progression of autoimmune diseases. Mounting evidence indicate that the synthetic ligands of circadian clock genes have the property of reducing the susceptibility and clinical severity of subjects. This review supplies an overview of the roles of circadian clock genes in the pathology of autoimmune diseases, including BMAL1, CLOCK, PER, CRY, REV-ERBα, and ROR. Furthermore, summarized some circadian clock genes as candidate genes for autoimmune diseases and current advancement on therapy of autoimmune diseases with synthetic ligands of circadian clock genes. The existing body of knowledge demonstrates that circadian clock genes are inextricably linked to autoimmune diseases. Future research should pay attention to improve the quality of life of patients with autoimmune diseases and reduce the effects of drug preparation on the normal circadian rhythms.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.