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Sleep and Inflammatory Resolution Pathway

Low-grade or unresolved inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of many human diseases. Common sleep patterns of restricting sleep during the work week and "catching up" on sleep over the weekend lead to inflammatory upregulation that does not recover completely after the weekend.

The goal of this proposal is to investigate, for the first time, inflammatory resolution pathways. Inflammatory resolution mediators, such as resolvins, are derived from omega-3 free fatty acids and actively 'turn-off' inflammation. Based on preliminary data, the investigators hypothesize that common sleep restriction-recovery patterns disrupt inflammatory resolution pathways, making it difficult to return to inflammatory homeostasis. If true, pharmacologically increasing the body's natural production of endogenous inflammatory resolution mediators may provide a way to reduce the detrimental inflammatory consequences of common sleep restriction-recovery patterns.

The hypothesis will be tested using an experimental model that mimics common patterns of restricting sleep on weekdays and "catching up" on sleep on the weekend. The proposal will further utilize the unique ability of low-dose aspirin, which - like no other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug - is able to activate inflammatory resolution pathways. Healthy women and men between the ages of 18 to 65 years will be tested under three, 11-day in-hospital stays, during which participants will be exposed to control sleep or common patterns of sleep restriction-recovery. The three in-hospital stays will be combined with preemptive administration of low-dose aspirin or a placebo.

Targeting inflammatory resolution pathways could provide a novel, non-behavioral strategy to mitigate both inflammatory consequences and future disease risks in those undergoing periods of sleep restriction-recovery patterns - a behavior pattern that is unlikely to be eradicated in the near future, as changes in sleep are generally difficult to make and to maintain.