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Body Clock Could Be Transplant Concern

AUGUSTA, Ga., Oct. 4 (UPI) — The human circadian rhythm, the so-called “body clock,” may affect the success rate of organ transplants, U.S. researchers say.

While some human studies have suggested the time of day transplant surgery is performed can influence the outcome, research at Georgia Health Sciences University on mice with dysfunctional internal clocks is the first to correlate circadian clocks with transplant success, a GHSU release said Tuesday.

Researchers found that arteries of mice with circadian clock dysfunction became thick and diseased within a few weeks of being transplanted to healthy mice while arteries transplanted from healthy mice to the mutant mice remained healthy.

“You take an organ out of a human, you don’t think about it having a bad clock,” GHSU vascular biologist Daniel Rudic said. “But the fact is the time at which you do the organ transplant may influence overall success and, if you have a donor who has a sleep disorder or is a night shift worker, it may affect it as well.”

Since even healthy body clocks produce variability in tissue function during a day, transplantation might be best performed during optimal organ function, he said.

The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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