A Pilot Characterization of the Human Chronobiome

Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 7;7(1):17141. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17362-6.


Physiological function, disease expression and drug effects vary by time-of-day. Clock disruption in mice results in cardio-metabolic, immunological and neurological dysfunction; circadian misalignment using forced desynchrony increases cardiovascular risk factors in humans. Here we integrated data from remote sensors, physiological and multi-omics analyses to assess the feasibility of detecting time dependent signals - the chronobiome - despite the "noise" attributable to the behavioral differences of free-living human volunteers. The majority (62%) of sensor readouts showed time-specific variability including the expected variation in blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol. While variance in the multi-omics is dominated by inter-individual differences, temporal patterns are evident in the metabolome (5.4% in plasma, 5.6% in saliva) and in several genera of the oral microbiome. This demonstrates, despite a small sample size and limited sampling, the feasibility of characterizing at scale the human chronobiome "in the wild". Such reference data at scale are a prerequisite to detect and mechanistically interpret discordant data derived from patients with temporal patterns of disease expression, to develop time-specific therapeutic strategies and to refine existing treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Microbiota*
  • Mouth / metabolism
  • Pilot Projects
  • Proteome*
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transcriptome*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Hydrocortisone