The circadian clock is a collection of endogenous oscillators with a periodicity of ∼24 hours. Recently, our understanding of circadian rhythms and their regulation at genomic and physiologic scales has grown significantly. Knowledge of the circadian influence on biological processes has provided new possibilities for novel pharmacological strategies. Directly targeting the biological clock or its downstream targets, and/or use timing as a variable in drug therapy are now important pharmacological considerations. The circadian machinery mediates many aspects of the inflammatory response and, reciprocally, an inflammatory environment can disrupt circadian rhythms. Therefore, intense interest exists in leveraging circadian biology as a means to treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as sepsis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease, which all display some type of circadian signature. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the crosstalk between circadian rhythms, inflammatory diseases, and their pharmacological treatment. Evidence suggests that carefully rationalized application of chronotherapy strategies – alone or in combination with small molecule modulators of circadian clock components – can improve efficacy and reduce toxicity, thus warranting further investigation and use.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.