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The circadian clock is a critical regulator of immune function. We recently highlighted a role for the circadian clock in a mouse model of pulmonary inflammation. The epithelial clock protein Bmal1 was required to regulate neutrophil recruitment in response to inflammatory challenge. Bmal1 regulated glucocorticoid receptor (GR) recruitment to the neutrophil chemokine, CXC chemokine ligand 5 (CXCL5), providing a candidate mechanism. We now show that clock control of pulmonary neutrophilia persists without rhythmic glucocorticoid availability. Epithelial GR-null mice had elevated expression of proinflammatory chemokines in the lung under homeostatic conditions. However, deletion of GR in the bronchial epithelium blocked rhythmic CXCL5 production, identifying GR as required to confer circadian control to CXCL5. Surprisingly, rhythmic pulmonary neutrophilia persisted, despite nonrhythmic CXCL5 responses, indicating additional circadian control mechanisms. Deletion of GR in myeloid cells alone did not prevent circadian variation in pulmonary neutrophilia and showed reduced neutrophilic inflammation in response to dexamethasone treatment. These new data show GR is required to confer circadian control to some inflammatory chemokines, but that this alone is insufficient to prevent circadian control of neutrophilic inflammation in response to inhaled LPS, with additional control mechanisms arising in the myeloid cell lineage.-Ince, L. M., Zhang, Z., Beesley, S., Vonslow, R. M., Saer, B. R., Matthews, L. C., Begley, N., Gibbs, J. E., Ray, D. W., Loudon, A. S. I. Circadian variation in pulmonary inflammatory responses is independent of rhythmic glucocorticoid signaling in airway epithelial cells.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





126 - 139


circadian rhythms, endocrinology, inflammation