Debra J Skene

Debra J Skene
University of Surrey · Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

B. Pharm, MSc, PhD

About

337
Publications
65,347
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17,300
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1992 - present
University of Surrey
Position
  • Professor of Neuroendocrinology

Publications

Publications (337)
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to represent an ongoing global health issue given the potential for new variants, vaccine escape and the low likelihood of eliminating all reservoirs of the disease. Whilst diagnostic testing has progressed at a fast pace, the metabolic drivers of outcomes–and whether markers can be found in different biof...
Article
Full-text available
The aims of the present study were to obtain sleep quality and sleep timing information in a group of university students and to evaluate the effects of a circadian hygiene education initiative. All students of the University of Padova (approximately 64,000) were contacted by e-mail (major campaigns in October 2019 and October 2020) and directed to...
Article
Full-text available
Ocular light exposure has important influences on human health and well-being through modulation of circadian rhythms and sleep, as well as neuroendocrine and cognitive functions. Prevailing patterns of light exposure do not optimally engage these actions for many individuals, but advances in our understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and eme...
Preprint
The aims of the present study were to obtain sleep quality and sleep timing information in a group of university students, and to evaluate the effects of a circadian hygiene education initiative. All students of the University of Padova (approximately 64,000) were contacted by e-mail (major campaigns in October 2019 and October 2020) and directed t...
Article
Background and Objective Narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) is an orphan brain disorder caused by the irreversible destruction of orexin neurons. Metabolic disturbances are common in patients with NT1 who have a body mass index (BMI) 10-20% higher than the general population, with one third being obese (BMI>30 kg/m ² ). Besides the destruction of orexin neuro...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Rapid asexual replication of blood stage malaria parasites is responsible for the severity of disease symptoms and fuels the production of transmission forms. Here, we demonstrate that a Plasmodium chabaudi’s schedule for asexual replication can be orchestrated by isoleucine, a metabolite provided to the parasite in a periodic manner du...
Article
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Objective: Data from real world settings on circadian disruption and subsequent hormone-related changes may explain the higher risk of hormone-dependent cancers among night shift workers.The present study examines the melatonin and sex steroid hormone levels among night shift workers. Methods: We included 44 male, rotating shift workers from a c...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Rapid asexual replication of blood stage malaria parasites is responsible for the severity of disease symptoms and fuels the production of transmission forms. Here, we demonstrate that the Plasmodium chabaudi’s schedule for asexual replication can be orchestrated by isoleucine, a metabolite provided to the parasite in periodic manner du...
Article
Full-text available
Shift workers experience chronic circadian misalignment, which can manifest itself in reduced melatonin production, and has been associated with metabolic disorders. In addition, chronotype modulates the effect of night shift work, with early types presenting greater circadian misalignment when working night shift as compared to late types. Melaton...
Article
Background:Bipolar Disorder is a severe chronic mental disorder. There is a bidirectional relationship between disease course and circadian phase. Significant circadian phase shifts occur during transitions between episodes but episodes can also be elicited during euthymia by forced rapid changes in circadian phase. Although an instability of circa...
Article
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The past decade has seen a large influx of work investigating time of day variation in different human biofluid and tissue metabolomes. The driver of this daily variation can be endogenous circadian rhythms driven by the central and/or peripheral clocks, or exogenous diurnal rhythms driven by behavioural and environmental cycles, which manifest as...
Preprint
To test the effect of the amino acid isoleucine on the malaria parasite Intraerythrocytic Development Cycle (IDC) we compared parasite developmental progression in cultures with and without isoleucine (50 mg/L), as well as after different durations (7, 14, 18 hours) of isoleucine starvation. We set up N = 112 cultures (from 8 mice) so that for each...
Article
Full-text available
Electrical activity in the heart exhibits 24-hour rhythmicity, and potentially fatal arrhythmias are more likely to occur at specific times of day. Here, we demonstrate that circadian clocks within the brain and heart set daily rhythms in sinoatrial (SA) and atrioventricular (AV) node activity, and impose a time-of–day dependent susceptibility to v...
Article
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Architectural lighting has potent biological effects but applied lighting practices that capitalize on this potential have been limited. In this review, we endeavor to consolidate and synthesize key references that will be useful for lighting professionals, with the goal of supporting knowledge translation into pragmatic lighting strategies. Specif...
Article
Objectives: Night shift work is associated with high rates of hypertension and cardiometabolic disease, which are linked to disrupted circadian rhythms. We hypothesized that timed light therapy might improve disrupted circadian rhythms and stabilize diurnal control of blood pressure and glucose in night shift workers. Methods: We randomized 24 r...
Article
Full-text available
Background Functional connectivity (FC) of the motor network (MN) is often used to investigate how intrinsic properties of the brain are associated with motor abilities and performance. In addition, the MN is a key feature in clinical work to map the recovery after stroke and aid the understanding of neurodegenerative disorders. Time of day variati...
Article
Full-text available
Light influences diverse aspects of human physiology and behaviour including neuroendocrine function, the circadian system and sleep. A role for melanopsin‐expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) in driving such effects is well‐established. However, rod and/or cone signals routed through ipRGCs could also influence ‘...
Article
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Light can be used to facilitate alertness, task performance and circadian adaptation during night work. Novel strategies for illumination of workplaces, using ceiling mounted LED-luminaires, allow the use of a range of different light conditions, altering intensity and spectral composition. This study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT03203538) inv...
Article
Introduction: Night shift work is associated with high rates of hypertension, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. These cardiometabolic diseases have been linked to the disruption of circadian rhythms in night shift workers. Rotating night shift work is increasingly common in the working population worldwide. Hypothesis: We hypothesized that lig...
Article
Full-text available
Daylight is ubiquitous and is crucial for mammalian vision as well as for non-visual input to the brain via the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) that express the photopigment melanopsin. The ipRGCs project to the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei and thereby ensure entrainment to the 24-hour day-night cycle,...
Preprint
Full-text available
The replication of blood-stage malaria parasites is synchronised to the host’s daily feeding rhythm. We demonstrate that a metabolite provided to the parasite from the host’s food can set the schedule for Plasmodium chabaudi’s intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC). First, a large-scale screen reveals multiple rhythmic metabolites in the blood t...
Article
Full-text available
Use of blue-enriched light has received increasing interest regarding its activating and performance sustaining effects. However, studies assessing effects of such light during night work are few, and novel strategies for lighting using light emitting diode (LED) technology need to be researched. In a counterbalanced crossover design, we investigat...
Article
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Studying communities with different levels of urbanization may further the understanding of risk factors underlying metabolic diseases. The present study is unique by comprising detailed assessment of sleep and activity, biological rhythms, and metabolic factors of men from the same geographical location and place of birth that reside in different,...
Article
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Background Nurses and midwives make up almost 50% of the global healthcare shift working workforce. Shift work interferes with sleep and causes fatigue with adverse effects for nurses’ and midwives’ health, as well as on patient safety and care. Where other safety-critical sectors have developed Fatigue Risk Management Systems, healthcare is behind...
Article
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The response to a zeitgeber, particularly the light/dark cycle, may vary phenotypically. Phenotypic plasticity can be defined as the ability of one genome to express different phenotypes in response to environmental variation. In this opinion paper, we present some evidence that one of the most prominent effects of the introduction of electric ligh...
Article
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Objectives: Night shift workers are at cardiometabolic risk due to circadian misalignment. We investigated whether infrequent exercise before each night shift that intentionally would not improve physical performance improves glucose tolerance and 24-h blood pressure profiles and synchronizes circadian rhythms of melatonin and cortisol in rotating...
Article
Full-text available
Daylight stems solely from direct, scattered and reflected sunlight, and undergoes dynamic changes in irradiance and spectral power composition due to latitude, time of day, time of year and the nature of the physical environment (reflections, buildings and vegetation). Humans and their ancestors evolved under these natural day/night cycles over mi...
Article
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Isolation from external time cues allows endogenous circadian rhythmicity to be demonstrated. In this study, also filmed as a television documentary, we assessed rhythmic changes in a healthy man time isolated in a bunker for 9 days/nights. During this period the lighting conditions were varied between: (1) self-selected light/dark cycle, (2) const...
Article
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Urbanization has contributed to extended wakefulness, which may in turn be associated with eating over a longer period. Here, we present a field study conducted in four groups with different work hours and places of living in order to investigate eating behavior (duration, content, and timing). Anthropometric measures were taken from the participan...
Article
Melatonin is a pleiotrophic hormone, synthesised primarily by the pineal gland under the control of the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). It not only provides a hormonal signal of darkness but also has neuroprotective properties. Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by abnormal motor, cognitive and psychia...
Article
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Article
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Local and national governments around the world are currently considering the elimination of the annual switch to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST). As an international organization of scientists dedicated to studying circadian and other biological rhythms, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) engaged experts in the field to writ...
Article
There is a lack of research into 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status, light exposure and sleep patterns in South Asian populations. In addition, results of research studies are conflicting as to whether there is an association between 25(OH)D status and sleep quality. We investigated 25(OH)D status, self-reported and actigraphic sleep quality in n...
Article
Background: There is conflict between living according to our endogenous biological rhythms and our external environment, with disruptions resulting in negative consequences to health and performance. This is often documented in shift work and jet lag, but 'societal norms' (eg, typical working hours) can create profound issues for 'night owls', pe...
Article
Background Occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) is a suspected cancer risk factor, however, the epidemiological literature is limited and potential biological mechanisms unclear. Night shift work and associated circadian misalignment, leading to decreased melatonin production is also suspected in cancer. It has...
Article
Full-text available
Disruption to sleep and circadian rhythms can impact on metabolism. The study aimed to investigate the effect of acute sleep deprivation on plasma melatonin, cortisol and metabolites, to increase understanding of the metabolic pathways involved in sleep/wake regulation processes. Twelve healthy young female subjects remained in controlled laborator...
Article
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Studying circadian rhythms in most human tissues is hampered by difficulty in collecting serial samples. Here we reveal circadian rhythms in the transcriptome and metabolic pathways of human white adipose tissue. Subcutaneous adipose tissue was taken from seven healthy males under highly controlled ‘constant routine’ conditions. Five biopsies per p...
Article
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Introduction: Functional connectivity (FC) of the human brain's intrinsically connected networks underpins cognitive functioning and disruptions of FC are associated with sleep and neurological disorders. However, there is limited research on the impact of circadian phenotype and time of day on FC. Study objectives: The aim of this study was to...
Article
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic disorder that presents a range of premotor signs, such as sleep disturbances and cognitive decline, which are key non-motor features of the disease. Increasing evidence of a possible association between sleep disruption and the neurodegenerative process suggests that sleep impairment could produce a detectable...
Article
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Successful pregnancy requires adaptation in maternal physiology. During intrauterine life the mother's circadian timing system supports successful birth and postnatal development. Maternal melatonin is important to transmit circadian timing and day length to the fetus. This study aims to describe the third trimester of pregnancy among day (n=5) and...
Article
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The pupillary light reflex (PLR) is a neurological reflex driven by rods, cones, and melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells. Our aim was to achieve a more precise picture of the effects of 5-min duration monochromatic light stimuli, alone or in combination, on the human PLR, to determine its spectral sensitivity and to assess the importance o...
Article
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Patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) exhibit delayed sleep-wake habits, disturbed night sleep and daytime sleepiness/fatigue. Such combination of symptoms is reminiscent of delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSPD), which benefits from morning light treatment. The aim of the present pilot study was to test the effect of morning light trea...
Article
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Sleep is essential for optimal brain functioning and health, but the biological substrates through which sleep delivers these beneficial effects remain largely unknown. We used a systems genetics approach in the BXD genetic reference population (GRP) of mice and assembled a comprehensive experimental knowledge base comprising a deep “sleep-wake” ph...
Data
Prioritization scores and weights. Examples of scores and weights obtained with the prioritization algorithm for the 4 phenotypes in the Results section (Examples 1–4) and alpha-aminoadipic acid (top). For each phenotype (and metabolite), the top-5 scored genes are listed per tissue. First column: gene name, columns 2–6: their weighted scores for Q...
Data
Top-100 differentially expressed liver genes after sleep deprivation. Genes are sorted according to fold change. Down-regulated genes are highlighted in gray. (DOCX)
Data
Lack of reproducibility of the Dps1 QTL in the old versus the new BXD panel. QTL, quantitative trait locus. (PDF)
Data
Top-100 differentially expressed cortical genes after sleep deprivation. Genes are sorted according to fold change. Down-regulated genes are highlighted in gray. Of the 78 genes we considered core molecular components of the sleep homeostatic response in the cortex [34], 13 also made it to this top-100 list (*), and 36 more are among the top 5% mos...
Article
Full-text available
Misalignment between internal circadian rhythmicity and externally imposed behavioral schedules, such as occurs in shift workers, has been implicated in elevated risk of metabolic disorders. To determine underlying mechanisms, it is essential to assess whether and how peripheral clocks are disturbed during shift work and to what extent this is link...
Conference Paper
Background Chondrocytes rely primarily on glycolysis to meet their energy requirements, but can support cell survival and matrix synthesis during periods of nutrient stress by enhancing glycolysis with mitochondrial respiration. Accessing this ‘spare respiratory capacity’ requires optimal mitochondrial function. Impaired mitochondrial function is i...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Shift work causes misalignment between internal circadian rhythmicity and externally imposed behavioral schedules, which has been implicated in elevated risk of metabolic disorders. We investigated the metabolic consequences of misaligned shift schedules using a metabolomics approach. Methods N=14 healthy subjects (25.8 ± 3.2y, 4f) pa...
Article
Full-text available
Trace deposition timing reflects a novel concept in forensic molecular biology involving the use of rhythmic biomarkers for estimating the time within a 24-h day/night cycle a human biological sample was left at the crime scene, which in principle allows verifying a sample donor’s alibi. Previously, we introduced two circadian hormones for trace de...