New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Here’s how stress may be making you sick

Date:
January 10, 2018
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
A researcher is providing new insight into how certain types of stress interact with immune cells and can regulate how these cells respond to allergens, ultimately causing physical symptoms and disease.
Share:
FULL STORY

A Michigan State University researcher is providing new insight into how certain types of stress interact with immune cells and can regulate how these cells respond to allergens, ultimately causing physical symptoms and disease.

The federally funded study, published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, showed how a stress receptor, known as corticotropin-releasing factor, or CRF1, can send signals to certain immune cells, called mast cells, and control how they defend the body.

During the study, Moeser compared the histamine responses of mice to two types of stress conditions -- psychological and allergic -- where the immune system becomes overworked. One group of mice was considered "normal" with CRF1 receptors on their mast cells and the other group had cells that lacked CRF1.

"While the 'normal' mice exposed to stress exhibited high histamine levels and disease, the mice without CRF1 had low histamine levels, less disease and were protected against both types of stress," Moeser said. "This tells us that CRF1 is critically involved in some diseases initiated by these stressors."

The CRF1-deficient mice exposed to allergic stress had a 54 percent reduction in disease, while those mice who experienced psychological stress had a 63 percent decrease.

The results could change the way everyday disorders such as asthma and the debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are treated.

"We all know that stress affects the mind-body connection and increases the risk for many diseases," Moeser said. "The question is, how?"

"This work is a critical step forward in decoding how stress makes us sick and provides a new target pathway in the mast cell for therapies to improve the quality of life of people suffering from common stress-related diseases."

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Here’s how stress may be making you sick." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180110132958.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2018, January 10). Here’s how stress may be making you sick. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 19, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180110132958.htm
Michigan State University. "Here’s how stress may be making you sick." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180110132958.htm (accessed July 19, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES