A pill for jet-lag?
Göttingen – A drug that regulates release of kidney hormones may help against the symptoms of jet-lag or shift work. In mid-June, Dr. Silke Kiessling and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen reported that the 11-beta hydroxylase blocker Metyrapone helped mice to adapt significantly faster to shifts in their sleep/wake cycles (J. Clin. Investig., doi: 10.1172/JCI41192). In the model, the researchers found that the biological clock is set by secretion of hormones from the adrenal gland. Blocking adrenal corticosterone with the drug either prolonged or shortened jet-lag, depending on when it was administered. Thus Metyrapone, which is already on the market, may help in resetting the misalignment of the endogenous circadian clock with external time.