(HealthDay News) – Sleep deprivation affects the daily rhythms and levels of granulocytes, and mirrors the body’s immune response to stress.

Katrin Ackermann, PhD, from the Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined several blood cell populations in 15 healthy male subjects (mean age, 23.7 years) who were kept awake for 29 hours following a week of normal sleep/wake cycles.

The researchers found that all blood cell types showed significant diurnal rhythms, particularly naive CD4 cells. However, the amplitude of the granulocyte rhythm was most affected by sleep deprivation. Granulocytes were most strongly affected by condition, were least correlated with other cell types, and showed large variations in abundance.

“Granulocyte levels and diurnal rhythmicity are directly affected by acute sleep deprivation; these changes mirror the body’s immediate immune response upon exposure to stress,” Ackermann and colleagues conclude.

Two authors disclosed financial relationships with Philips Lighting, Stockgrand Ltd, or Lumie Ltd.

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