It’s pretty widely agreed that stress can be unhealthy.
Whether it comes down to high blood pressure, muscle tension or simply having
trouble sleeping, the physical implications of stress can have physical
implications on an otherwise healthy lifestyle. In a recent press
release from Stem Cells Translational Magazine, researchers from both the
UC-Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and California State University
examined the impact of stress in the healing process for chronic injuries and
afflictions in a study led by Roslyn Isseroff, MD, and Mohan R. Dasu, PhD.
“The precise process that prevents their healing is unclear
except for two constants: a prolonged inflammatory response and the bacterial
colonization of the wound bed,” said Isseroff. “These two interrelated factors
are thought to contribute to the wound’s chronic state.”
According to the release, the presence of a protein called
epinephrine (adrenaline) functions to start the process of healing by
increasing activity to TLR2. This allows inflation to occur and, as a result,
promotes healing. The presence of bacteria, however, can cause “crosstalk,”
disrupting the signals to epinephrine. In their study, the research team examined
how increased epinephrine and TLR2 as a result of elevated stress levels could
impact the stem cells and keratinocytes altered to help heal the wound, and
found that the crosstalk produced by the increase led to the impaired healing
of the injury.
“These findings have implications for understanding the
mechanism controlling the differing susceptibility to infections and immune/inflammatory-related
conditions in wounds,” commented Anthony Atala, MD, director of the Wake forest
Institute for Regenerative Medicine and editor of Stem Cells Translational
Medicine, in the release.
It’s important to remember to take a deep breath and relax
sometimes, otherwise those annoying injuries that just won’t seem to go away
might end up sticking around even longer. Not only is stress a mental strain,
but the physiological impact can be detrimental to the healing process. The “crosstalk”
seen in cell signals from increased stress can throw a wrench into the body’s
natural ability to heal itself.