News & Announcements

Press Release

Body Clock Found to Regulate Platelet Function

September 8, 2011



A recent study by DSM researchers demonstrated that the circadian system regulates human platelet function with a morning peak in platelet activation, corresponding with the known morning peak in adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

In the study, lead by Frank Scheer, PhD, 12 healthy adults lived on a 20-hour/day schedule for 12 cycles in order to isolate the internal clock from the effects of the sleep/wake cycle and behavioral and environmental changes. Cycles also included testing sessions using three standardized behavioral stressors including a mental stressor (a 10 minute addition test), a postural stressor (a head-up tilt), and an exercise stressor (15 minutes on an exercise bike). Platelet activation peaked at the circadian phase corresponding to 8-9am and the circadian effects were always larger than that of any of the behavioral stressors.

The results may show that the morning peak in platelet activation is an underlying factor in the known morning peak in adverse cardiovascular events. These findings were published in PLoS ONE on September 8, 2011. 

Site Map | Contact Us | © 2017 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College