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To anyone not familiar with Dr Theoharides, as I wasn’t, I can recommend one of his more recent videos on Mast Cells
8th Jan 2012
Although it is related to Autism, it tells us a lot about his history and experience and about the Mast Cell Activation process. I’ve tried to transcribe it, I found it so interesting, especially the following, as it might explain why some people suffering from Mast Cell Activation test negative for allergies:
At about 7:00 in the video he says:
“We then go back to the lab and we grow umbilical mast cells, from umbilical cord blood, we take this molecule Neurotensin and we add it to the mast cells and we find 2 amazing findings.
One is that the Mast Cell started releasing inflammatory molecules but without necessarily releasing histamines and other ingredients like we see in an allergy and that’s important because if you were to biopsy someone, you look for this so called degranulation of the Mast Cell’s, which explodes like a handgrenade in allergic or anaphalactic reactions. In this case, molecules were being released without this process which means, if you were to send someone for biopsy, you would miss it because the cells will look happily at you.
The second part which was even more surprising, was the following, the Mast Cells, as any other cell type, requires energy and the mitochondria, are the organelles within the cell that produce energy and we already know that about 10% of children with Autism have mitochondria that are not functioning properly, which means that they have less energy to be used for the developing brain and they do not buffer the so called reactive oxygen species, that are actually very prominent in Autistic children. So in Autism we have brain inflammation and oxidative stress, the mitochondria basically control that.
So what we found was in the process of Neurotensin stimulating these Mast Cells, the mitochondria have been broken down, into smaller pieces, moving to the surface and releasing their content outside and you might wonder what’s the big deal, other things are being released. The big deal is that the mitochodria were actually bacteria that millions of years ago became symbiotic with ourselves and they never leave our cells. If they were to be destroyed it would be by autophagy, they are basically destroyed inside the cells.
The moment any mitochondria is released outside the cell, it is misconstrued by the body as an invasive pathogen and the body mounts a massive auto-inflammitory response. So now we have Neurotensin, stimulating these Mast Cells to release inflammatory molecules as well as mitochondrial components which, in their own right, then induced an auto-inflammitory response.
So then we said, can we go back to the children, in whom we measured high levels of Neurotensin and see if this mitochondrial component, which is called DNA is there and in fact it was very high. This is the first time the mitochondrial DNA was shown to be high in any disease state and we published that in the journal of neuro-inflammation. In fact these two papers are the most accessed papers in the history of the journal, over the last few months.”
. . . . . . ahem! er, if it’s the same thing, my ‘Cell Free DNA’ was higher than normal too, just thought I’d mention that.
Head & Neck Injury (June 2002); Mild Concussion; Post Concussion Syndrome; Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS); Peripheral Vestibular Dysfunction; Mild Radiculopathy & Small Fibre Neuropathy (right leg & foot resp.); Partially Empty Sella (Oct 2002) Fully Blown Empty Sella (Oct 2004); Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD); 3mm Cerebellar Ectopia (Chiari 0); Cranio-cervical Instability (CCI) with Posterior Gliding (PG) & Cranial Settling (CS); Brain Compression; Retroflexed Odontoid; Stretched/Elongated Brainstem; Vitamin D deficiency; Ehlers Danlos (EDS) type 111; and now Osteoarthritis! and oh, I forgot Arrhythmias – confirmed as runs of Bigeminy and Trigeminy.