Mast Cells 2016

If you look long enough you find surprises, sometimes pleasant ones.  I found another article about the relationship between mast cells and fibromyalgia, and it’s from 2016!  See Tsilioni et al.  Instead of trying to summarize on a blog post, I’ll create a new page. However, to sum up:

  • Mast cells are located in the neurons in the skin and in the diencephalon (the part of the brain which contains the epithalamus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and the ventral thalamus – which are key in the exploration of the origins of fibromyalgia)
  • Environmental, immune, or infectious triggers stimulate mast cells
  • This then stimulates the secretion of
    • Heparin
    • Histamine
    • Serotonin
    • Proteases (tryptase)
    • Tumor necrosis factor (a cytokine)
    • De novo synthesized leukotrienes
    • Prostaglandines (PG2 in particular)
    • Cytokines IL-1, IL-6, IL-8)
  • Histamine, PGD2, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor, and tryptase stimulates microglia (cells that eat up bad things) and corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH)
  • The stimulation of both PGD2 and CRH together can be the cause of both neuroinflammation and mental disorders.

There are more connections; substance P ties in as well as other cytokines and neuropeptides.  There are also connections to the blood-brain barrier that connect back to mast cells and CRH.

According to Tsilion et al:  “Preventing the secretion of CRH, SP, and/or HK-1, and their ability to stimulate release of IL-6 and TNF from MCs, microglia, or other imune cells, may constitute a potential new treatment approach for FMS.”  Lots of abbreviations there.  In short, stop mast cells from releasing the chemicals that stimulate other chemicals that stimulate fibromyalgia symptoms.

This is promising.  A lot of the connections are there – not all of them, but a lot of them.  It’s definitely worth looking further.

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