When we talk about any chemical reaction, we have in mind, what should happen when two or more elements are interacted resulting in a new form. It may change the state of environment where different reactions are carried out: its acidity or alkalinity, electrolyte composition, formation or energy absorption, and the like.
The biological reaction is always more complicated and multifaceted. Although researchers have learned to study allergic reactions in vitro, it would not be quite right to judge by them about what is happening in the body when an allergen enters it.
Allergies, Constitution, Heredity, and Immunity
In body not only antibodies and body cells struggle with an allergen, but also many other components, so to speak, part of larger system, which we know as a protective barrier. These are a nervous system including autonomic and endocrine systems, many other organs (liver, lien, blood, lymph, skin and so on) involved in body immunological apparatus.
The fact is that course of allergic reactions depends on nervous system condition, according to the results of the following experiment. Under laboratory conditions, the guinea pig was administered allergen. When after a while it was entered for the second time, guinea pig died from an anaphylactic shock. But if allergen re-introduction is carried out with general anesthesia, they have not only remained alive, they have not observed any visible allergic reactions.
Let’s digress a little from our presentation, and reflect on the given fact. Did not it demonstrate that if our nervous system is not in a state of hyperreactivity, the likelihood of allergy developing will be negligible?
We arguing this way, are not going to include allergic disease, as diseases caused by nerves insufficiency. But we come to the conclusion that a person in a state of negative emotions, will develop an allergic reaction most often. Incidentally, we advise the reader, if he is in good health, not to look around you allergens and to become upset over the fact that he may be infected. This is not a fatal inevitability. But it is constantly necessary to strengthen human neuro-emotional sphere. It will become many diseases’ prevention, including allergy.
But let’s return to the stated material. These or that body cells that interact with an allergen, are under the constant influence of nervous and humoral factors. Moreover, allergen and body’s cells interact in a particular environment: in the skin or other body tissues which are washed by blood or lymph in which different active substances are dissolved, under the influence of nerve endings embedded in these tissues.
The allergic reaction between allergen and body tissues can occur immediately and as a result, they are called immediate-type allergic reactions. But they can develop over several hours or even days. In the second case, they have defined as a delayed type allergic reactions.
Allergens exert their effects when entering the body through epidermis, epithelium and airway mucosa of other organs. For this purpose, they should be of very small-sized. Then tissues become permeable to them.
Currently, allergists attach great importance to the question of extent skin permeability for various substances. This question is considered as one of the most important in modern doctrine of allergic skin diseases and methods of their prevention.
Chemicals, including most of the so-called “mild” allergens, usually penetrate superficial layer of skin (epidermis), through hair follicles entrances and excretory ducts of sebaceous glands, forming complexes with proteins, tissues, including skin.
The degree of penetration into skin depends on chemical properties of these substances, and skin condition of the whole human body. Effects that change skin physical condition, are produced by its permeability to various chemicals. Keep in mind that sponging with alcohol, ether, benzene, high humidity, skin loosening, prolonged exposure to soap and detergent powders increases skin permeability. Age plays an important: children absorptive capacity of skin is higher than in adults.
All chemicals for their effect on the human body can be divided into the following groups:
- irritant agents, enhancing body and skin sensitivity (allergens);
- combined action (having properties of irritants and allergens at the same time).
Substances of combined action include chromium compounds, which in high concentrations cause sharp inflammation development and necrosis, and in a weak concentration – increased sensitivity to them from the body.
Finally, there is possible impact of such substances on the body when it does not damage skin, but it gradually penetrates into the deep-seated tissue causing organism’s poisoning (toxicity).
Increased reactivity in humans can be inherent and occur immediately after the first exposure to foreign substances in body surface or food intake that is called idiosyncrasy. In case of idiosyncrasy, the patient’s skin and body as a whole react violently to the first (often the first in the life of) chemical introduction. In this case, rashes on the skin, mucous membranes or internal organs resemble allergic reactions.
The Essence of Allergic Reactions
To understand the essence of allergic reactions, you should get acquainted with two main concepts “sensitization” and “desensitization.” The first mentioned is usually denoted by unusual reaction (hypersensitivity), the second – its decrease or absence.
According to current scientific understanding, the essence of allergic reactions is that allergen penetration into the body it encounters protective substance – an antibody which is connected to the cell. As a result, there are complex shifts and changes in allergen’s molecular structure, which in turn leads to biologically active substances release (histamine, serotonin, heparin, acetylcholine), breaking autonomic nervous system balance – nervous system, which provides a certain level and harmonious rhythm operation of all human body systems, including skin cells. As a consequence of these violations allergic skin disease occurs.
It should be noted that if allergen penetrates into the body, it must have a small size, that it produces its effect when it reaches a sufficiently large molecule size. In this case, antibodies development occurs.
An allergic reaction usually starts with the fact that chemicals in contact with human body give formation of the so-called conjugated metabolite, that is, complex large molecules of substance with organism’s proteins. In response to this complex organism synthesizes special white blood cells (white cells) – T and B lymphocytes. They take different parts in allergic reactions.
I the case when the process includes two groups of cells (T cells as well as B cells), there is a complex chemical allergic reaction combined with skin diseases such as (e.g. face skin urticarial fever and allergic skin damage of hands and other combinations of disease processes).
Lymphocytes T and B send chemical information to another cell – macrophagocyte (A-cells) which is very common in the human body. This A-cell “processes” resulting chemical information, sends it in a modified form to other numerous T and B lymphocytes (secondary information). These T- and B-lymphocytes received information from a secondary macrophagocyte (A) cells and had the ability to resend them for new T- and B-lymphocytes.
But B-lymphocytes can transmit specific information to other B-lymphocytes only if they receive a special “order” from T-lymphocytes, after the secondary information adoption from macrophagocyte (A-cells).
Chemical nature of “order” is currently insufficiently studied yet. However, it is known that it is not specific and that certain factors (ionizing radiation, cold, ultraviolet and infrared rays, ultrasound, current ultra-high frequency electromagnetic waves, cosmic rays, gravitational deflection and the like) are capable of influencing nonspecific stimulant activity originating from T lymphocytes to B lymphocytes. Currently, this process is studied carefully.