REVIEW – September

Sleep and immunity


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There is reciprocal relationship between sleep and immunity: sleep deprivation affects immune response and defects in immunity affect sleep quality. For instance, when an organism is jeopardized by shortterm threats, like exposure to virus, it reacts by increasing sleep time. At the same time, if the exposure is chronic, as a result, there will be disturbances in the sleep pattern and in the inflammatory response. Sleep regulation is related to inf lammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IFN-γ. Furthermore, there is proof of the importance of other inflammatory markers like prostaglandins and CRP. Sleep loss induces the pro-inflammatory status in an organism. There occurs not only an increase in the indicators of cellular senescence, but also an elevation of DNA damage-associated gene expression. Defects in sleep quality are associated with chronic infections (HIV, HCV), inflammatory diseases (inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis) and malignancies (ovarian cancer, breast cancer).