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
- 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.