In today's life, we often encounter situations when the organism's functions are overstrained, and the action of extreme factors causes the development of a stress response. There are three stages in the development of the organism's stress reaction: 1 - the stage of activation, 2 - the stage of resistance, 3 - the stage of exhaustion.
It is extremely important to assess the organism's stress-response stages, since one has to control situations related to the development of adaptation processes when the body's functional reserves are mobilized and to prevent them from sliding into the exhaustion stage. When the body's reserves are depleted, a pathological process can develop.
In addition, it is important in medical practice to objectively evaluate the adaptation resources of the organism when monitoring the treatment process and the course of the disease (exacerbation, remission). However, it is extremely difficult to quantify the state of the stress response in the body. Therefore, the search for information technologies that could be easily implemented in any medical laboratory becomes particularly relevant.
According to Anna Deryugina, Head of the Physiology and Anatomy Department of the Institute of Biology and Biomedicine at the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), the experimental studies conducted by the University scientists have revealed that effective criteria for the severity of the body's stress response are the electrophoretic mobility of red blood cells (RBCs) (actually, it is the cell membrane function related to surface charge), and the analysis of the state of buccal epithelium cells, which is not less sensitive than the test of chromosome aberrations in bone marrow cells of animals. With this analysis, it is possible to evaluate the processes of epithelium proliferation and differentiation, the degree of inflammation and cytogenetic changes.
"It was shown that RBC electrophoretic mobility reflects the engagement of stress-implementing systems: sympatho-adrenal and pituitary-adrenal, while the state of the buccal epithelium cells is an indicator of the effectiveness of the immune system. The analysis of the RBC electrophoretic mobility and buccal epithelium cells shows that, depending on the intensity of the stress exposure, the gradient of the decrease in the RBC electrophoretic mobility changes, which is associated with an increase in the number of epithelial cells with various pathological changes," notes Anna Deryugina.
Thus, using the obtained indicators, it becomes possible to assess whether a compensation reaction aimed at restoring impaired homeostasis develops in the body, or whether body resources are insufficient and adaptation processes may fail leading to the development of some pathology. Timely assessment of stress indicators will help to effectively adjust the body state.