Nrf2 and circadian rhythm

This 2021 rodent study investigated aging’s effects:

“We investigated aging consequences on temporal patterns of antioxidant defenses, molecular clock machinery, and blood pressure.

We observed circadian rhythms of catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) mRNA expression, as well as ultradian rhythms of Nrf2 mRNA levels, in the hearts of young adult rats. We also found circadian oscillations of CAT and GPx enzymatic activities, reduced glutathione (GSH), and BMAL1 protein.

Aging abolished rhythms of CAT and GPx enzymatic activities, phase-shifted rhythm acrophases of GSH and BMAL1 protein levels, and turned circadian the ultradian oscillation of Nrf2 expression.

aging changes Nrf2 oscillation

Moreover, aging phase-shifted the circadian pattern of systolic blood pressure. In conclusion, aging modifies temporal organization of antioxidant defenses and blood pressure, probably as a consequence of disruption in the circadian rhythm of the clock’s transcriptional regulator, BMAL1, in heart.”

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-021-09938-7 “Aging disrupts the temporal organization of antioxidant defenses in the heart of male rats and phase shifts circadian rhythms of systolic blood pressure” (not freely available)


A human equivalent to this study’s 3-month-old young adult group is around 19 years. The older group’s 22-month age is roughly equivalent to a 68-year-old human.

Couldn’t say whether Nrf2 oscillations flattening out with age is specific to heart tissue, or is a more general trend. I’m pretty sure that humans have to make good things happen while aging, because bad things are pre-programmed.

I came across this study from a citation trail of a comment to Eat broccoli sprouts for your workouts. I didn’t curate the mentioned study because one of its coauthors tainted it by designing and supervising Problematic rodent sulforaphane studies.

How would you answer the comment’s question?


Repairs needed: The story of 2021

PXL_20220104_194204601

One thought on “Nrf2 and circadian rhythm

  1. This is very interesting. A great find. Thanks for posting it. As these are rats I guess I just flip the rhythm for humans.
    I knew that circadian rhythms flattened out as we age.
    This shows that Nrf2 rhythms flatten out too.
    I guess if I wanted to try and get my 61 year old body into the circadian rhythm of a 19 year old I would activate my Nrf2 at 1 PM and again at 2 AM.
    I think this reinforces that activating my Nrf2 between 8 and 9 AM is probably the best/safest plan.
    Thanks again!

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