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New study finds uncontrollable stress worsens symptoms of endometriosis
Date:4/7/2008

ent, Marielly Cuevas, will present the teams findings, entitled The Pathophysiology of Intestinal Endometriosis is Exacerbated by Uncontrollable Stress during the 121st annual meeting of The American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-APS.org/press), part of the Experimental Biology 2008 scientific conference.

The Study

Seven female rats were induced with endometriosis. Of the total, half were subjected to stressful swim tests for ten consecutive days, a chronic and stressful situation the animals could not control. The endo-stress group (n=3) was subjected to the swim trials. The endo-control rats (n=4) had endometriosis but did not swim. The sham-stress group (n=3) did not have the disease nor did they swim.

Sixty days after the induction of the endometriosis the rats were sacrificed and examined for the presence of endometriotic vesicles (small structures inside cells used to transport liquids such as proteins), and damage to the adjacent organs (including the colon and small intestine). The presence of the enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO), which is linked to inflammation, was also assayed.

Results

The researchers found that:

  • none of the sham-stress animals developed vesicles.

  • the endo-control group developed a total vesicle length that averaged 6.570.96mm per animal.

  • the endo-stress group developed a total vesicle length that averaged 11.265.27mm per animal.

  • the endo-control rats had higher colonic damage scores than sham-stressed animals, which was increased further by stress.

  • the endo-stress rats had the shortest colon length, the highest levels of MPO, the greatest number of colonic mast cells, and an increase in peritoneal fluid immune cell infiltration, all indicative of activation of inflammatory mechanisms.

Conclusion

According to the senior researcher f
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Contact: Donna Krupa
DKrupa@the-aps.org
619-525-6202
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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