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Eur J Clin Invest. 2003 Jun;33(6):513-7.

Enhancement of allergic skin wheal responses in patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome by playing video games or by a frequently ringing mobile phone.

Author information

  • Ujitakeda Hospital, Kytoto Prefecture, Japan. unitikah@m12.alpha-net.ne.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Playing video games causes physical and psychological stress, including increased heart rate and blood pressure and aggression-related feelings. Use of mobile phones is very popular in Japan, and frequent ringing is a common and intrusive part of Japanese life. Atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome is often exacerbated by stress. Stress increases serum IgE levels, skews cytokine pattern towards Th2 type, enhances allergen-induced skin wheal responses, and triggers mast cell degranulation via substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factor.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

(1). In the video game study, normal subjects (n = 25), patients with allergic rhinitis (n = 25) or atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (n = 25) played a video game (STREET FIGHTER II) for 2 h. Before and after the study, allergen-induced wheal responses, plasma levels of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factor, and in vitro production of total IgE, antihouse dust mite IgE and cytokines were measured. (2). In the mobile phone study, normal subjects (n = 27), patients with allergic rhinitis (n = 27) or atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (n = 27) were exposed to 30 incidences of ringing mobile phones during 30 min. Before and after the study, allergen-induced wheal responses, plasma levels of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factor were measured.

RESULTS:

Playing video games had no effect on the normal subjects or the patients with allergic rhinitis. In contrast, playing video games significantly enhanced allergen-induced skin wheal responses and increased plasma levels of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factors in the patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome. Moreover, playing video games enhanced in vitro production of total IgE and anti-house dust mite IgE with concomitant increased production of IL-4, IL-10 and IL-13 and decreased production of IFN-gamma and IL-12 in the patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome. However, exposure to frequently ringing mobile phones significantly enhanced allergen-induced skin wheal responses, plasma levels of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factors in the patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome, but not in the normal subjects or the patients with allergic rhinitis.

CONCLUSION:

Playing video games enhanced allergic responses with a concomitant increased release of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factor, and skewing of the cytokine pattern toward Th2 type in the patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome. In addition, exposure to frequently ringing mobile phones also enhanced allergic responses with a concomitant increased release of substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide and nerve growth factor Collectively, high technology causes stress, which in turn may aggravate symptoms of atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome.

PMID:
12795649
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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