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The importance of circadian rhythm in skin

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NADINE PERNODET

It is now well established that our body follows a circadian rhythm, a 24 hour oscillating light and dark cycle that directs behavior and physiology. The master clock that regulates this day/night cycle is found in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which responds to light received through the retina of the eye, and regulates sleep patterns, body temperature, cardiac activity, hormone secretion, blood pressure and more. Mammalian peripheral clocks, also known as clock genes (period, (per), clock (clk), cycle (cyc), timeless (tim), and others), have recently been discovered and are present in all nucleated cells of our body. In fact, it is believed that around 10-20% of our genes are under direct circadian control of the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) master clock. These peripheral clocks synchronize critical functions with day/night cycles to promote metabolic efficiency and therefore play a critical role in genome stability maintenance. Simply put, the clock genes under the SCN control make sure that all cellular functions happen at the right times and repeat every day. 

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