THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHRONOTYPE ON THE AWAKENING RESPONSE OF CORTISOL IN THE MORNING
The chronotype describes the behavioral daytime preference. According to an inherent but interindividually strongly varying biological clock, humans try to best adapt to their environment by tuning their internal clock and therefore their sleep-wake cycle to the social clock, which is reflected by work schedules etc. The chronotype seems to be basically associated with the timing and controlling of the circadian rhythms of biological and psychological parameters. In general, morning types show earlier acrophases and maximum values of biological factors compared to evening types.
Like most physiological parameters cortisol follows a strong circadian rhythm, with a peak immediately after awakening, the so-called cortisol awakening response (CAR). Since glucocorticoids in general are assumed to play a key role in the timing and synchronization of the internal clock and the regulation of the transcription in the DNA, a well-tuned CAR might be crucial for the synchronization of one’s own organism to the environment.
Purpose Since a stable circadian rhythm in general seems to be health-protective, we aimed to determine the association between the chronotype and the CAR in 25 healthy men.
Results Our results suggest that evening types show a lower total amount of cortisol, but a significantly prolonged phase of cortisol increase within the first hour after awakening.
Conclusion Our data might suggest that an inadequate synchronization between inert chronotype and environment results in an extenuated CAR.
Roenneberg T, Wirz-Justice A, Merrow M. Life between clocks: daily temporal patterns of human chronotypes. J Biol Rhythms. 2003;18: 80-90.
Duffy JF, Rimmer DW, Czeisler CA. Association of intrinsic circadian period with morningness-eveningness, usual wake time, and circadian phase. Behav Neurosci. 2001; 115: 895-899.
Allebrandt KV, Roenneberg T. The search for circadian clock components in humans: new perspectives for association studies. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2008; 41: 716-721.
Wittmann M, Dinich J, Merrow M, Roenneberg T. Social Jetlag: Misalignment of Biological and Social Time. Chronobiol Int. 2006; 23: 497-509.
Pruessner JC, Wolf OT, Hellhammer DH, Buske-Kirschbaum A, von Auer K, Jobst S, Kaspers F, Kirschbaum C. Free cortisol levels after awakening: a reliable marker for the assessment of adrenocortical activity. Life Sci. 1997; 61: 2539-2549.
Meyer-Bernstein EL, Jetton AE, Matsumoto SI, Markuns JF, Lehman MN, Bittman EL. Effects of suprachiasmatic transplants on circadian rhythms of neuroendocrine function in golden hamsters. Endocrinology. 1999; 140: 207-218.
Scheer FA, Buijs RM. Light affects morning salivary cortisol in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999; 84: 3395-3398.
Ishida A, Mutoh T, Ueyama T, Bando H, Masubuchi S, Nakahara D, Tsujimoto G, Okamura H. Light activates the adrenal gland: timing of gene expression and glucocorticoid release. Cell Metab. 2005; 2: 297-307.
Yamamoto T, Nakahata Y, Tanaka M, Yoshida M, Soma H, Shinohara K, Yasuda A, Mamine T, Takumi T. Acute physical stress elevates mouse period1 mRNA expression in mouse peripheral tissues via a glucocorticoid-responsive element. J Biol Chem. 2005; 280: 42036-42043.
Dickmeis T, Lahiri K, Nica G, Vallone D, Santoriello C, Neumann CJ, Hammerschmidt M, Foulkes NS. Glucocorticoids play a key role in circadian cell cycle rhythms. PLoS Biol. 2007; 5: e78.
Dickmeis T. Glucocorticoids and the circadian clock. J Endocrinol. 2009; 200: 3-22.
Abbruzzese, E.A., Birchler, T., Ehlert, U. (2014). Effects of psychosocial stress on the gene expression of the clock genes hPER1 and hPER2 in humans. Psychology, 5, 70-77.
Wust S, Wolf J, Hellhammer DH, Federenko I, Schommer N, Kirschbaum C. The cortisol awakening response – normal values and confounds. Noise Health. 2000a; 2: 79-88.
Wilhelm I, Born J, Kudielka BM, Schlotz W, Wüst S. Is the cortisol awakening rise a response to awakening? Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2007; 32: 358-366.
Bailey SL, Heitkemper MM. Morningness–eveningness and early-morning salivary cortisol levels. Biol Psychol. 1991; 32: 181-192.
Bailey SL, Heitkemper MM. Circadian rhythmicity of cortisol and body temperature: morningness-eveningness effects. Chronobiol Int. 2001; 18: 249-261.
Roenneberg T, Kuehnle T, Juda M, Kantermann T, Allebrandt K, Gordijn M, Merrow M. Epidemiology of the human circadian clock. Sleep Med Rev. 2007; 11: 429-438.
Kudielka BM, Federenko IS, Hellhammer DH, Wust S. Morningness and eveningness: the free cortisol rise after awakening in “early birds” and “night Owls”. Biol Psychol. 2006; 72: 141-146.
Griefahn B, Robens S. The cortisol awakening response: a pilot study on the effects of shift work, morningness and sleep duration. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008; 33: 981-988.
Yamazaki S, Straume M, Tei H, Sakaki Y, Menaker M, Block GD. Effects of aging on central and peripheral mammalian clocks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002; 99: 10801-10806.
Roenneberg T, Kuehnle T, Pramstaller PP, Ricken J, Havel M, Guth A, Merrow M. A marker for the end of adolescence. Curr Biol. 2004; 14: R1038-1039.
Wust S, Federenko I, Hellhammer DH, Kirschbaum C. Genetic factors, perceived chronic stress, and the free cortisol response to awakening. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2000b; 25: 707-720.
Gunnar MR, Vazquez DM. Low cortisol and a flattening of expected daytime rhythm: potential indices of risk in human development. Dev Psychopathol. 2001; 13: 515-538.
Clow A, Thorn L, Evans P, Hucklebridge F. The cortisol awakening response: methodological issues and significance. Stress. 2004; 7: 29-37.
Zavada A, Gordijn MC, Beersma DG, Daan A, Roenneberg T. Comparison of the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire with the Horne-Ostberg’s Morningness-Eveningness Score. Chronbiol Int. 2005; 22: 267-278.
Pruessner JC, Kirschbaum C, Meinlschmid G, Hellhammer DH. Two formulas for computation of the area under the curve represent measures of total hormone concentration versus time-dependent change. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2003; 28: 916-931.
Korczak AL, Martynhak BJ, Pedrazzoli M, Brito AF, Louzada FM. Influence of chronotype and social zeitgebers on sleep/wake patterns. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2008; 41: 914-919.
Dallmann R, Touma C, Palme R, Albrecht U, Steinlechner S. Impaired daily glucocorticoid rhythm in Per1Brd mice. J Comp Physiol A. 2006; 192: 769-775.
Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.