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Samara University scholars are developing a mechanism of human biological clock adjustment

18.07.2017, 11:42

Samara University scholars are investigating the potential of neurochemical regulators which in perspective will allow liquidating the consequences of painful breakdowns in the biological rhythms of a human being. At the end of 2016 they got a grant of RFFI for the research of these processes. 
Life on Earth has a cyclical character. Day always comes after night. These repeating cycles give rhythm for all the dwellers of the planet. Our sleep and vigil are synchronized with the diurnal cycle of the Earth.
If a person due to different reasons does not receive any outer signals about the time of the diurnal cycle for a long time, for example, is in a cave, closed bunker, works at space station, his rhythm (called circadian) becomes autonomous. And it is known that in conditions of isolation the rhythm of circadian clock of a human being is not usual 24 hours, but 25 hours. That is why for exact synchronization of our biological clock with the outer world the so-called time-givers are necessary. To them should be referred fluctuations in lightning (dawn, dusk), temperature changes, noise level, etc.
When between the inner clock of our organism and outer time (time-givers) for any reason a breakdown occurs (for example, after flight via several time zones) we feel fatigue and irritation. 
Scientific group of employers of the Department of Human and Animal Physiology of Samara University is looking for a means to make a human organism get rid of unpleasant consequences of such variations. For 15 years the scientists have been investigating physiological characteristics of biological clock and their adaptation to the changes of outer time.
As a result they found out that the determining role in these processes is played by two neurochemical regulators – arginine-vasopressine and vasoactive intestinal peptide. In the framework of RFFI grant they study the potential of these regulators as adaptors of biorhythms when breakdowns in lightning occur.
According to the head of the project Prof. Alexey Inushkin, the use of electrophysiological methods gives this research approach originality. 
“They allow to get additional data about the parameters of impulse activity of cells of circadian oscillator and about the mechanisms of action of neurochemical regulators on the level of separate cells of biological clock as well”, - he explains. 
On the ground of the results got in the framework of RFFI grant Samara scholars count to justify the strategy of search of new pharmaceuticals which help a human being to adapt for long breakdowns in his biological rhythms. 
For reference
Circadian clock is a compact bunch of neurons of a human brain situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of hypothalamus. Unpleasant feelings which appear as a result of a long isolation of a human being are a result of desynchronization of our body rhythms and miscoordination of circadian rhythms which are usually interconnected.