SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- French scientists have found that people's biological clock can be a vital factor in fighting inflammatory disease such as fulminant hepatitis, a new study suggests.
Scientists from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), Pasteur Institute of Lille and University of Lille in northern France have worked on the links between biological clock and inflammatory disease.
Through experiments on human cells and mice, they discovered that the anti-inflammatory action of a biological clock protein could block the onset of fulminant hepatitis by easing symptoms and increasing survival rates.
The findings of their study were carried in the latest edition of Gastroenterology.
Fulminant hepatitis is a serious disease that has no effective cure, except liver transplant within 24 hours after the onset of its symptoms.
The illness can cause rapid deterioration of tissue ad liver function in patients, in addition to blood coagulation disorders and irreparable brain damage.
The French scientists found a biological clock protein called Rev-erba, which notably targets adipose tissue, together with liver, skeletal muscle and brain cells.
Their experiments on human immune system cells and on mice established the fact that inflammation follows a circadian rhythm.
Test results of mice, which received Rev-erba-activating treatment, showed less severe forms of the disease and a higher survival rate.
The French researchers observed the same effect in vitro on human cells, which increased their confidence of developing a new treatment for acute fulminant hepatitis.
"This offers new hopes for researchers, notably in terms of potential improvements in quality of life and longevity among patients suffering from chronic inflammatory disease," said Inserm researcher Helene Duez.