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Circadian rhythm gene expression and daily melatonin levels vary in athletes and sedentary males

Song, Youngju, Choi, Geunhoon, Jang, Laeguen, Kim, Seo-Woo, Jung, Ki-Hong, Park, Hyon
Biological rhythm research 2018 v.49 no.2 pp. 237-245
athletes, blood, circadian rhythm, exercise, gene expression, genes, males, melatonin
The circadian rhythm is a 24-h cycle in which cells control metabolic and physiological processes throughout the day. In this study, we compared the expression patterns of major circadian rhythm-related genes: from blood of Bmal1, Ror-α, Cry1, Per2, Per1, and Nr1d1. In addition, changes in patterns of melatonin levels were observed in 16 subjects, eight males rugby players and eight males who did not exercise regularly. Blood was collected at 6:00, 10:00, 18:00, and 22:00. Bmal1, Ror-α, Cry1, Per2 (p < 0.001), Per1 (p < 0.01), and Nr1d1 (p < 0.05) genes related to circadian rhythm was higher in rugby players than in sedentary males. However, melatonin levels were higher in sedentary males than in rugby players (p < 0.05). These results indicate that long-term exercise in athletes can increase the expression of genes related to circadian rhythm and these may have an effect on daily melatonin levels as well.