Mast cells: A possible link between psychological stress, enteric infection, food allergy and gut hypersensitivity in the Irritable Bowel syndrome

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Intestinal mast cell activation (degranulation), which results from previous enteric infection and/or intestinal allergy, may play a central role in the gut hypersensitivity in both motor response and visceral perception in the Irritable Bowel syndrome. This occurs through various mediators acting on enteric neurons and smooth muscle cells. Psychological stress may trigger this sensitive alarm system via the brain-gut axis.

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