Mastocytosisis a rare disease associated with chronic symptoms related to mast cell mediator release. Patients with mastocytosis display high level of negative emotionality such as depression and stress sensibility. Brain mast cells are mainly localized in the diencephalon, which is linked to emotion regulatory systems. Negative emotionality has been shown to be associated with telomere shortening. Taken together these observations led us to hypothesize that mast cells activity could be involved in both negative emotionality and telomere shortening in mastocytosis.
To demonstrate a possible relationship between negative emotionality in mastocytosis and leukocytes telomere length.
Leukocyte telomere length and telomerase activity were measured among mastocytosis patients and were correlated with perceived stress and depression assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory revised and the Perceived Stress Scale.
Mild-severe depression scores were frequent (78.9%) as well as high perceived stress (42.11%). Telomere length was correlated to perceived stress (r=0.77; p=0.0001) but not to depression in our population. Patients displaying Wild-type KIT significantly presented higher perceived stress levels. Patients with the D816VC KIT mutation who had high perceived stress scores displayed significantly shorter telomere but not if they had high depression scores.
These findings suggest that high perceived stress in mastocytosis could accelerate the rate of leukocytes telomere shortening. Since mastocytosis is, by definition, a mast cell mediated disease; these cells could be involved in this phenomenon. Mechanistic causal relationships between these parameters need to be investigated.