Retina cells may help in treating jet lag

Retina cells may help in treating jet lag

Washington D.C. [USA], April 18 : Briton researchers have found a new group of cells in retina of eyes that can directly affect the biological clock of the people who experience jet lag.

According to researchers, a new group of cells in the retina that directly affect the biological clock by sending signals to a region of the brain which regulates our daily (circadian) rhythms, thereby opening a new therapeutic possibilities to manipulate the retina's signals and alter the body's responses to light changes.

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a region of the brain, which co-ordinates the circadian rhythm using many different signalling molecules, including the neurohormone vasopressin.

This research shows that the retina has its own population of vasopressin-expressing cells which communicate directly to the SCN and are involved with regulating the circadian rhythm.

This gives an insight into how the biological clock is regulated by light and could open up new therapeutic opportunities to help restore altered circadian rhythms through the eye.

"Our exciting results show a potentially new pharmacological route to manipulate our internal biological clocks," said study's lead investigator Mike Ludwig from the University of Edinburgh in England.

"Studies in the future which alter vasopressin signalling through the eye could lead to developing eye drops to get rid of jet lag, but we are still a long way off from this," Ludwig added.

Biological clocks are synchronised to light-dark changes and are important to regulate patterns of body temperature, brain activity, hormone production and other physiological processes.

Disruption of this can lead to health problems such as gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disorders, depression and an increased risk of cancer.

The researchers interfered with the signalling of light information sent to the SCN in rats.

Using a series of physiological tests, they showed that vasopressin-expressing cells in the retina are directly involved in regulating circadian rhythms.

The study appeared in the Journal of Physiology. (ANI)

Region: 
General: 

Popular Stories

Soon, a treatment for aggressive brain cancer in kids

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 12 : A team of... Read More

Sewer workers could be at Ebola risk with current guidelines

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 12 : Turns out, the... Read More

Toward more effective treatment for leukemia

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 12 : The discovery of a... Read More

Breaking up? Here's the best way to carry out the emotionally difficult task

You might know it is the right decision for both of... Read More

Moutai becomes world's most-valuable liquor maker

Beijing [China], Apr. 10 : All you alcohol lovers!... Read More