Nowadays turning sick due to nerves’ malfunction is not worth a whistle. One can find ulcer, for example, which is almost impossible to cure. The question is what should be cured. Ulcer treating is useless until the patient stops being nervous, and there’s no point of treating nerves, when the stomach is ailing.
Altruistic fellows from Human and Animal Physiology Department of MSU Biology Faculty suggest to break this vicious circle between nerves and stomach using amylin hormone for this purpose.
Amylin is a protein synthesized and excreted by specific pancreatic and gastrointestinal cells. This hormone participates in glucose constant level control and in calcium metabolism and hampers gastric motor activity. Recently the scientists have found that this hormone can treat ulcer.
Why does stress lead to ulcer development? Strong emotional stress activates one of the immune system components – mast cells, which creep through the organism. Excited mast cells shed histamine, which, among other things, damages mucous stomach coat and it’s only a step to ulcer. Moscow scientists have suggested that amylin somehow affects mast cell activity and started experiments to prove their hypothesis.
The physiologists have performed the experiment on rats. The animals were made to suffer an emotional stress, then they were decapitated and their mucous stomach coat was examined.
Stress in fact activates mast cells. Dormant cells and cells, which already excreted histamine, are clearly seen by means of the microscope. The more histamine-free cells are observed, the more damaged is the mucous coat of the stomach, which can even bear small hemorrhages. But if amylin is injected intraperitoneally an hour before the stress, mast cells do not respond to the stress, and the average ulcer area reduces two-fold. Thus the researchers made sure that amylin inhibits histamine excretion. Further experiments confirmed protein affecting mast cells directly. The scientists added amylin drop by drop directly to cell culture and detected inhibition of activating agents. Amylin has another useful option: it doesn’t hamper mast cells’ background activity, thus won’t inhibit an important part of immune system.
Scientists do not report their further plans. May be someone else uses this data to help people. There’s no need to annoy patients for clinical trials – there’s always more that enough people who suffer from stresses.