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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2015

Authors: Ruf, T; Arnold, W

Title: Daily and Seasonal Rhythms in Human Mucosa Phospholipid Fatty Acid Composition.

Source: J Biol Rhythms. 2015; 30(4):331-341

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Arnold Walter
Ruf Thomas

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Fatty acids (FAs) can exert important physiological effects: for example, as precursors of eicosanoids, as signaling molecules, and, in particular, as parts of phospholipids, the major constituents of cell membranes. Animals can remodel cell membranes in terms of their FA composition in response to environmental conditions, and even endothermic mammals exhibit seasonal cycles in the FA makeup of membranes. Previous evidence pointed to the existence of both seasonal and daily cycles in phospholipid composition of human cell membranes. Therefore, we used a noninvasive method to collect human mucosa cells over 1 year in 20 healthy subjects, and we determined seasonal and daily rhythmicity of phospholipid FA content. Our results show that significant daily rhythms were detectable in 11 of 13 FAs and were largely synchronous among subjects. Also, these daily rhythms showed stable phase relationships between different FAs within subjects. In contrast, yearly rhythms in phospholipid FA content were statistically significant in only ~50% of subjects and were asynchronous between subjects. These results support the view that while human physiology is still dominated by geophysical sunrise and sunset, resulting in strong daily cycles, seasonal rhythms are less well defined, at least in Western societies. We suggest that the main physiological function underlying rhythms in cell membrane composition is the regulation of the activity of transmembrane proteins, such as ion pumps, which can be strongly affected by the fatty acyl chains of phospholipids in the surrounding membrane bilayer. Hence, among a multitude of other functions, cycles in membrane FA composition may be involved in generating the daily rhythm of metabolic rate. Rhythms in certain membrane FAs, namely polyunsaturated and monounsaturated FAs that are known to affect health, could be also involved in daily and seasonal rhythms of diseases and death.

Keywords Pubmed: Adult
Cells, Cultured
Circadian Rhythm*
Fatty Acids/analysis*
Intracellular Membranes/chemistry
Intracellular Membranes/physiology
Middle Aged
Mucous Membrane/chemistry*
Mucous Membrane/cytology
Mucous Membrane/physiology
Time Factors

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