Circadian rhythm abnormalities - Association with the course of inflammatory bowel disease

Pharmacol Rep. 2016 Aug;68(4):847-51. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2016.04.007. Epub 2016 Apr 28.


Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the main representatives of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), a group of chronic, immune system-mediated inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The pathogenesis of the intestinal lesions in IBD is not entirely identified and understood: excessive activation of the immune system may come as a result of the interaction of various environmental and infectious factors, genetic predisposition, and the mediation of abnormal intestinal flora. The main objective of the current study is to further identify the risk factors for the development of IBD. Currently, there is very little knowledge about circadian rhythm and IBD and there are only a few studies on the relationship between sleep disturbances and the course of the disease, as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine profile and general immune system functioning. Furthermore, the relationship between the expression of circadian rhythm genes and severe course of IBD is still unknown. The aim of this review is to show the current state of knowledge about the relationship between circadian rhythm disorders, sleep disturbance and inflammation in the GI tract and to analyze the possibility of employing this knowledge in diagnosis and treatment of IBD.

Keywords: Circadian rhythm; Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Sleep disorders; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronobiology Disorders / complications
  • Chronobiology Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*