The effect of salt on allergy immune responses appears to be significant. The Technical University of Munich (TUM) has demonstrated in cell culture that salt leads to the formation of Th2 cells under the supervision of Prof. Christina Zielinski. When allergic conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, are present, these immune cells become active. As well, the team discovered elevated levels of salt in patients’ skins. A third of people in industrialized nations suffer from allergies at least once during their lifetime. In one child out of ten, atopic dermatitis is prevalent. In immune conditions of this kind, T-cells play a critical role. As part of the body’s defense system against infections, they play a pivotal role. However, if taken out of control, they can also develop pathological responses that attack parts of our bodies or harmless substances like An inflammatory skin condition such as atopic dermatitis can be caused when Th2 cells, a subgroup of T cells, perform these functions. Increased production of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interleukin 13 (IL-13) can be found in the process. There is still no clue as to what caused the signal

More Th2 cells under the influence of sodium ions

Salted water, or sodium chloride as it is known scientifically, is essential to human and animal health. This is formed by ionized sodium and chlorine in the body. Christina Zielinski, a DZIF-professor at TUM’s Institute of Virology, and her team demonstrate that sodium chloride can induce a state in human T cells that causes them to produce IL-4 and IL-13 in increased concentrations. Several types of T cells, which do not cause allergies, can change into Th2 cells when salt is present. If T cells are exposed to salt levels of less than 0.7 mEq again, the changes are reversed. Christina Zielinski explains that ionic signals do have a role to play in the generation and control of Th2 cells.

Highly elevated salt levels in the skin of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis

Medical specialist Zielinski is naturally interested in atopic dermatitis because he is a dermatologist. Researchers looked at whether hypernatremia is present in the affected skin regions of atopic dermatitis patients. “Measuring sodium concentrations in the tissue is complex,” says Julia Matthias, first author of the study. A standard clinical test can measure how much salt has been dissolved in the blood. Our colleagues in nuclear chemistry and physics tested the skin samples at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) at TUM and at the Institute for Nuclear Chemistry at the University of Mainz using It has been found that sodium levels in the skin areas of patients with atopic dermatitis are up to 30 times higher than those

Ideal conditions for bacteria thriving under salty conditions

Christina Zielinski remarks that higher levels of sodium in the affected skin are one of the hallmarks of atopic dermatitis. It is known that patients with this condition have elevated levels of a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus on their skin.”. It is these species of bacteria that thrive under salty conditions as opposed to other commensal bacteria, which are damaged by salt.” Zielinski believes that this insights along with others and the research results point toward a link between salt and the onset “We have not yet been able to demonstrate how these large quantities of salt find their way into the skin,” she acknowledges. Because of this, we are also unsure if a diet low in salt or high in salt might contribute to the manifestation and progression of atopic dermatitis or other allergic conditions.” Professor Zielinski and her team hope to answer these questions and others