Circadian regulation of susceptibility to pneumonia | Dr Gareth Kitchen

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  • Dr Kitchen has discovered a new genetic factor affecting susceptibility to pneuomonia, BMAL.

    The gene BMAL is more traditionally associated with regulation of the body’s circadian clock. Using mouse models, Dr Kitchen’s experiments demonstrate that the protein this gene codes for is also involved in regulating antibacterial activity. By acting on the protein RhoA, protein BMAL1 leads to the improvement of macrophage phagocytosis through changes to the macrophage cytoskeleton. This in turn impacts the body’s ability to respond to bacterial infections and so pneumonia, the disease behind 1 in 20 of all deaths worldwide.

    Dr Gareth Kitchen is a MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow and Anaesthetic Registrar at the University of Manchester.

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