Torres-Farfan, C., Mendez, N., Ehrefeld, P., & Seron-Ferre, M. (2019). In utero circadian changes; facing light pollution. Current Opinion in Physiology, 13, 128–134.
Abstract: Regardless of the molecular and physiological mechanisms involved, maternal fetal circadian systems interactions are recognized as crucial crosstalk for fetal development, and in turn, it may be a key factor determining fitting health in adulthood. However, in the last 100 years, life on the planet has altered the natural light-dark cycle by increasing light at night inducing disorganization of the circadian system, i.e. chronodisruption, including perturbation of the melatonin circadian rhythm by decreasing its nocturnal peak. The reduction in melatonin is associated with gradual losses in antioxidant protection, immunological and anti-inflammatory effects and as stated by WHO, the lack of nocturnal peak of melatonin is a deleterious signal that may induce chronic disease and cancer. Collectively the current review provides evidence about the role played by maternal circadian rhythms in fetal development and the impact of fetal-maternal desynchronization in the health and diseases of the offspring.