Research Alert

BYLINE: Mario Boone

Rockville, Md. (March 28, 2023)—Researchers discovered deleting a key clock protein from the adrenal gland in mice caused changes to the circadian rhythm of blood pressure. This deletion also altered night and daytime differences in hormone levels and eating behavior when mice experienced stressful conditions, according to a new University of Florida study.    

“Understanding the effects of the adrenal circadian clock on blood pressure may help in the discovery of new drugs to lower blood pressure,” said Michelle L. Gumz, PhD, FAHA, an associate professor and study co-author. 

Most physiological functions, including blood pressure, have a 24-hour circadian rhythm in variation, the researchers pointed out. An increased risk of heart and kidney damage— leading to cardiovascular disease—has been associated with rhythms that fall out of sync. Gumz noted this is why it’s so important to understand how circadian rhythms in physiological function are regulated. For example, the adrenal glands release hormones that help regulate blood pressure, but the contribution of the molecular circadian clock to this regulation is unknown. 

Read the full article, “Adrenal-specific KO of the circadian clock protein BMAL1 alters blood pressure rhythm and timing of eating behavior,” published ahead of print in Function.


Journal Link: Function

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