Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity are responsible for about two thirds of mortality worldwide, and all of these ailments share a common low-intensity systemic chronic inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress), and the ensuing Unfolded Protein Response (UPR). These adaptive mechanisms are also responsible for significant metabolic changes that feedback with the central clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, as well as with oscillators of peripheral tissues. In this review we attempt to use a systems biology approach to explore such interactions as a whole; to answer two fundamental questions: (1) how dependent are these adaptive responses and subsequent events leading to NCD with their state of synchrony with the SCN and peripheral oscillators? And, (2) How could modifiers of the activity of SCN for instance, food intake, exercise, and drugs, be potentially used to modulate systemic inflammation and ER stress to ameliorate or even prevent NCDs?
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