Skin tracks time independent of brain

October 18, 2019  17:27

Mammals are deprived of this ability, but biologists have revealed the expression of opsins in their skin. What function they perform is still unknown, HighTech + reported referring to phys.org.

A study by specialists at their University of Washington answered this question: neuropsin, a protein in the hair follicles of mice, regulates the circadian rhythms of the skin depending on the level of illumination.

The whole process takes place independently of the eyes or brain. This was confirmed during experiments with tissue cultures. By changing the level of illumination, the researchers achieved the adaptation of cells to new time zones within a few days.

The discovery may have practical applications in medicine. According to some reports, the circadian rhythms of the skin affect its healing and the risk of cancer. Thus, the manipulation of the level of illumination can form the basis of new types of therapy.

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