The CSIR – Indian Institute of Chemical Biology has a team of researchers in Kolkata who have discovered the molecular mechanism that allows acute mental stress to have an impact on the stomach, resulting in mucosal disease or gastric ulcers that are stress-related. This is the first time that such a discovery was made.
The research team conducted an experiment on a rat by putting it under a particular type of cold stress. Uday Bandyopadhyay led the research team and used drugs on the rat which target mitochondria that exists in the stomach so that stress-based gastric ulcers can be prevented. Uday works at the institute’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology.
The theory is that when a living thing is put under stress, there is a disruption in the capacity of the mitochondrial respiratory. Once that happens, there is an increase in oxidative stress and a reduction in the production of ATP. As the stress continues to exist, the mitochondria undergo morphological transformations like a lot more fragmentation. The scientific journal entitled ‘Free Radical Biology and Medicine’ published the findings of this study in it.
The reason why scientists are so excited about this discovery is that this is the first time a connection was found between the stomach’s mitochondria and the activity in mind. Since stress is something that comes from the mind, scientists wanted to find how that creates a gastric ulcer and now they have found it.
The gastric mucosal lining contains mitochondria in it. When there is increased fragmentation or oxidative stress, the mitochondria are not able to act normally. On top of that, the production of ATP is jeopardized as well. After that happens, there is no proliferation of the cells which means the mucosal cells will die. Also, the gastric lining will become a lot thinner too.