The immune system as a chronotoxicity target of the anticancer mTOR inhibitor everolimus

Ozturk N. , Öztürk D., Pala-Kara Z. , Kaptan E. , Sancar-Bas S. , Ozsoy N. , ...More

Chronobiology International, vol.35, pp.705-718, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07420528.2018.1432632
  • Title of Journal : Chronobiology International
  • Page Numbers: pp.705-718


The circadian timing system controls many biological functions in mammals including xenobiotic metabolism, detoxification, cell proliferation, apoptosis and immune functions. Everolimus is a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor, whose immunosuppressant properties are both desired in transplant patients and unwanted in cancer patients, where it is indicated for its antiproliferative efficacy. Here we sought whether everolimus circadian timing would predictably modify its immunosuppressive effects so as to optimize this drug through timing. C57BU6J mice were synchronized with light-dark 12h:12h, with L onset at Zeitgeber Time (ZT) 0. Everolimus was administered orally to male (5 mg/kg/day) and female mice (15 mg/kg/day) at ZT1, during early rest span or at ZT13, during early activity span for 4 weeks. Body weight loss, as well as hematological, immunological and biochemical toxicities, were determined. Spleen and thymus were examined histologically. Everolimus toxicity was less severe following dosing at ZT13, as compared to ZT1, as shown with least body weight inhibition in both genders; least reductions in thymus weight both in males (p < 0.01) and females (p < 0.001), least reduction in female spleen weight (p < 0.05), and less severe thymic medullar atrophy both in males (p < 0.001) and females (p < 0.001). The mean circulating counts in total leukocytes, total lymphocytes, T-helper and B lymphocytes displayed minor and non-significant changes following dosing at ZT13, while they were decreased by 56.9% (p < 0.01), 45.5% (p < 0.01), 43.1% (p < 0.05) and 48.7% (p < 0.01) after everolimus at ZT1, respectively, in only male mice. Chronotherapy of everolimus is an effective way to increase the general tolerability and decrease toxicity on the immune system.