Stress can affect immune cells and regulate how these cells respond to allergens. This response can cause allergic reactions, irritable bowel syndrome, and lupus. 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. "Mast cells become highly activated in response to stressful situations the body may be experiencing," said Adam Moeser, an associate professor and endowed chair who specializes in stress-induced diseases. ‘During stress, CRF1 receptors send signals to immune cells which can lead to inflammatory and allergic diseases.’ "When this happens, CRF1 tells these cells to release chemical substances that can lead to inflammatory and allergic diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, life-threatening food allergies and autoimmune disorders such as lupus." One chemical substance, histamine, is known to help the body get rid of invading allergens such as pollen, dust mites or the protein of a particular food like a peanut or shellfish. The histamine causes an allergic reaction and in a normal response, helps the body clear the allergen from its system. If a patient has a severe allergy or is under a lot of stress, then this same response can be amplified, resulting in more severe symptoms ranging from trouble breathing, anaphylactic shock or possibly even death. 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." Source: Eurekalert << Enzyme That Helps Regulate Inflammation and Metabolism in Fa... New Prostate Cancer Risk Model to Guide Screening Decisions >> Recommended Reading Stress Incontinence - Management Encyclopedia section of Medindia explaining about the various tests done for stress incontinence READ MORE Respiratory Distress Syndrome ARDS is a lung condition where the patient suffers from sudden breathlessness, low blood oxygen levels and lung inflammation that could progress to respiratory failure. READ MORE Stress Fracture Stress fractures are small fractures which often occur in the weight bearing bones of the lower leg and foot, mostly due to frequent repetition of an activity. READ MORE Managing Stress during Economic Recession It is imperative to manage stress during economic recession. Look at the positive side; it is always followed by economic prosperity. So why worry! READ MORE Andropause / Male Menopause Andropause or male menopause causing low libido in a man is due to decreasing level of male hormones, like testosterone. Symptoms of andropause are depression, irritability. READ MORE Chemotherapy ‘Chemo’ means medicine or ‘drug’; ‘therapy’ means ‘treatment’. Chemotherapy refers to the use of cytotoxic drugs in cancer treatment. READ MORE Chemotherapy Drugs Chemotherapy drugs perform like ‘magic bullets’ to destroy cancer cells in the body. READ MORE Crohns Disease Crohn’s disease or regional enteritis is an inflammatory bowel disease that involves the small intestine and causes abdominal pain, diarrhea and bleeding. READ MORE Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to avoid heart attack are listed. READ MORE Is Your Man Moody? Women get confused by the behavior of men in their lives. It is time they realize that men too have frequent mood swings. READ MORE Myasthenia Gravis Myasthenia gravis is the commonest disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autoimmune myasthenia gravis needs to be distinguished from congenital myasthenic syndromes. READ MORE Palpitations And Arrhythmias Palpitations are unpleasant sensation of one’s own heartbeat. READ MORE Stress and the Gender Divide Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in the rise in incidence of hypertension, diabetes and psychosomatic illnesses. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia The Essence of Yoga Diaphragmatic Hernia Selfie Addiction Calculator More News on: Palpitations And ArrhythmiasChemotherapyChemotherapy DrugsStress Relief Through Alternative MedicineStress and the Gender DivideAndropause / Male MenopauseHeart Attack- Lifestyle RisksCrohns DiseaseMyasthenia GravisIs Your Man Moody?