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Innate rhythms: Clocks at the center of monocyte and macrophage function

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journal contribution
posted on 19.05.2021, 16:24 authored by George Timmons, James O'SiorainJames O'Siorain, Oran KennedyOran Kennedy, Annie CurtisAnnie Curtis, James Early
The circadian cycle allows organisms to track external time of day and predict/respond to changes in the external environment. In higher order organisms, circadian rhythmicity is a central feature of innate and adaptive immunity. We focus on the role of the molecular clock and circadian rhythmicity specifically in monocytes and macrophages of the innate immune system. These cells display rhythmicity in their internal functions, such as metabolism and inflammatory mediator production as well as their external functions in pathogen sensing, phagocytosis, and migration. These inflammatory mediators are of clinical interest as many are therapeutic targets in inflammatory disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, circadian rhythm disruption is closely linked with increased prevalence of these conditions. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms by which circadian disruption affects monocyte/macrophage function will provide insights into novel therapeutic opportunities for these chronic inflammatory diseases.


Science Foundation Ireland [Career Development Award (17/CDA/4699)]

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Science Foundation Ireland [Career Development Award (17/CDA/4688)]

Irish Research Council Laureate Award (IRCLA/2017/110)



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Published Citation

Timmons GA, O'Siorain JR, Kennedy OD, Curtis AM, Early JO. Innate rhythms: Clocks at the center of monocyte and macrophage function. Frontiers in Immunology. 2020;11:1743.

Publication Date

4 August 2020

PubMed ID



  • Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine
  • RCSI Tissue Engineering Group (TERG)
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Vascular Biology
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation


Frontiers Media SA


  • Published Version (Version of Record)