Chronic lack of sleep negatively affects immune stem cells, increasing the risk of inflammatory disorders and heart disease.

summary: Sleep deprivation alters the structure of DNA inside immune cells and increases the number of immune cells, causing them to over-react and provoke inflammation. The study catching up on sleep does not reverse this effect.

Source: Mount Sinai Hospital

Chronic, insufficient sleep can negatively affect immune cells, leading to inflammatory disorders and heart disease, according to a new study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. More specifically, consistently losing an hour and a half of sleep a night potentially increases the risk.

research, published on 21 September in Journal of Experimental Medicine, is the first to show that sleep alters the structure of DNA inside immune stem cells that produce white blood cells—also known as immune cells—and that this can have a long-lasting effect on inflammation. and may contribute to inflammatory diseases.

Immune cells fight infection, but if the number of these cells becomes too high, they overreact and cause inflammation. The study is also the first to show that sleep capture does not reverse the effects of sleep disturbances.

“This study begins to identify biological mechanisms that link sleep and immunological health in the long term. It shows that in humans and mice, disrupted sleep has a profound effect on the programming of immune cells and the rate of their production, This causes them to lose their protective effect and actually make the infection worse – and these changes are long-lasting.

“This is important because this is yet another important observation that sleep reduces inflammation and, conversely, sleep interruption increases inflammation,” said lead author Philip Swirsky, PhD, director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Icahn Mount Sinai. it is said.

“This work emphasizes the importance of getting adults to sleep seven to eight consecutive hours to help prevent inflammation and disease, especially for those with underlying medical conditions.”

A team of investigators analyzed 14 healthy adults who regularly slept eight hours a night. First, the researchers monitored them to sleep at least eight hours a night for six weeks. They drew his blood and analyzed his immune cells. Then, the same group of adults reduced their sleeping time by 90 minutes each night for six weeks, and their blood and immune cells were reanalyzed.

At the end of the study, the researchers compared blood and cell samples from a full night’s sleep and a period of restricted sleep.

Sleep deprivation caused significant changes in all participants’ immune cells (also known as hematopoietic cells)—there were more of them, and the DNA structure was altered. After six weeks of sleep restriction, they had an increased number of immune cells.

The researchers also analyzed sleep in a mouse model. Groups of rats were either allowed to sleep without interruption, or their sleep was broken, where they remained awake throughout the night for 16 weeks. Then, rats with sleep fragmentation recovered for ten weeks of uninterrupted sleep.

The investigators took immune stem cells and immune cells from mice during these uninterrupted, fragmented, and sleep recovery phases, analyzed them, and compared them at the end of the experiment.

Results in rats were consistent with results in humans. They showed that all the mice with fragmented sleep had significant changes in their immune stem cells, which led to an increase in the number of immune cells, and also showed evidence of rewiring and reprogramming.

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The study is also the first to show that sleep capture does not reverse the effects of sleep disturbances. Image is in public domain

One notable finding from the mouse group was that even after sleep recovery, the immune stem cells retained this rewiring structure, and they continued to produce additional white blood cells, making the mice more susceptible to inflammation and disease. .

“Our findings suggest that sleep recovery is not able to completely reverse the effects of poor quality sleep. We can detect the molecular imprint of insufficient sleep in immune stem cells, even during recovery sleep.” Even after weeks.

“This molecular imprint can cause cells to respond inappropriately to inflammation and disease,” says co-principal investigator Cameron McAlpine, PhD, assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at Mount Sinai.

“It was surprising to find that not all clusters of stem cells responded to insufficient sleep in the same way. There were some stem cell clusters that grew and grew in number, while other clusters became smaller. This reduction in overall diversity and immune stemness were The aging of cell populations is a significant contributor to inflammatory diseases and heart disease.”

Financing: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, helped fund this study.

About this sleep and inflammation research news

Author: Ilana Nikravesh
Source: Mount Sinai Hospital
contact: Ilana Nikravesh – Mount Sinai Hospital
image: Image is in public domain

Basic Research: will appear in the conclusion Journal of Experimental Medicine

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