Microglia, circadian rhythm and lifestyle factors

Neuropharmacology. 2024 Jun 7:257:110029. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2024.110029. Online ahead of print.


Microglia, a vital homeostasis-keeper of the central nervous system, perform critical functions such as synaptic pruning, clearance of cellular debris, and participation in neuroinflammatory processes. Recent research has shown that microglia exhibit strong circadian rhythms that not only actively regulate their own immune activity, but also affect neuronal function. Disruptions of the circadian clock have been linked to a higher risk of developing a variety of diseases. In this article we will provide an overview of how lifestyle factors impact microglial function, with a focus on disruptions caused by irregular sleep-wake patterns, reduced physical activity, and eating at the wrong time-of-day. We will also discuss the potential connection between these lifestyle factors, disrupted circadian rhythms, and the role of microglia in keeping brain health.

Keywords: Ageing; Circadian rhythm; Clock genes; Lifestyles; Microglia; Shift work.

Publication types

  • Review