VIP treatment for jet lag | Washington University in St. Louis

VIP treatment for jet lag | Newsroom | Washington University in St. Louis.

VIP treatment for jet lag

A brain chemical that desynchronizes the cells in the biological clock helps the clock adjust more quickly to abrupt shifts in daily light/dark schedules such as those that plague modern life.

By Diana Lutz
CRISTINA MAZUSKI
In this image of the master clock in the mouse brain, the nuclei of the clock cells are blue, and VIP — a molecule that allows the neurons in the clock to synchronize — is fluorescent green. New work shows that, at high doses, VIP desynchronizes the cells, allowing them to adjust rapidly to changes in the daily schedule. This may help relieve the malaise felt by many shift workers and by travelers who cross time zones.

A small molecule called VIP, known to synchronize time-keeping neurons in the brain’s biological clock, has the startling effect of desynchronizing them at higher dosages, said a research team at Washington University in St. Louis.

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