Over the past 50 years of existence, the rate of recurrence of hypersensitivities and autoimmune diseases has risen rapidly, but it’s not clear as to why? and what is the reason? In a study conducted in the field of Science Translational Medicine, analysts indicate a possible cause: salt. The researcher found that lab tests that high concentrations of sodium chloride can control the differentiation of T helper 2 (Th2) cells, the immune cells responsible for allergies, and that high levels of salt are existing in the affected skin of individuals with atopic dermatitis, an sensitive skin condition.
One of the immunologists explains how this topic is completely different and how such studies are needed to be explored more about as there hasn’t been much progress in understanding this epidemic of allergic disease
Hay fever along with atopic dermatitis both amplified more than two-fold since the 1970s, an increase that analysts do not ascribe to larger responsiveness or analysis. This recent rise in the incidence of allergic infections is to be explained by heritable changes, so it’s possible to be due to an ecological or behavioral cause. “One thing that also changed within the last five to six decades is our diet. We are consuming fast food more often, and this also includes much-added salt, so that’s how this study bought in the attention towards the uncertainty of whether salt can alter the immune system
This study started by upping the levels of sodium chloride in the tissue culture medium used to grow either human CD4-positive memory T cells, which give off a complex set of chemical signals based on previous exposure to antigens, or naïve T cells, which have not been exposed to antigens before. The salt boosted the production of cytokines and transcription factors specific to Th2 cells, in both cell types, signifying that high salt concentration promotes Th2 cell differentiation. Also, it was found that the effects of the salt seemed to increase Th2-related programs via two salt-sensitive transcription factors.
Comparison between salt levels in the skin of adults with atopic dermatitis, an allergic condition which causes red, itchy patches of skin. Lesioned skin had sodium concentrations 30-fold elevated level than the patients’ unlesioned skin and skin from controls that were healthy. The team also examined sodium levels in pretentious and unaffected skin of people with psoriasis, an immune system disorder characterized by red color inflamed patches on the skin. Although both atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are both chronic inflammatory skin conditions, psoriasis is interceded by a discrete type of T helper cells. They found no change in salt concentration in psoriatic lesions and healthy skin, which led them to rule out a role for inflammation in the differences in sodium that they noticed in individuals with atopic dermatitis.