Cell stress is a term used in biology describing the state of emergency in which there is a cell subjected to a sudden physiological disturbance or any environmental change. The tools put in place by cells, called heat shock proteins (HSPS), are highly conserved molecules during evolution and common to all living things.
Animal cells, just like vascular plant cells, are able to develop regulators to ensure the survival of their organism in the face of stress (variation of temperature, pressure or altitude, radiation, injuries, surgeries, intensive sports training, microbial attacks, toxic agents or bio erosion) likely to permanently alter the conformation of proteins and their functioning. The alteration of proteins is essentially characterized by the process of aggregation, unfolding and denaturation.
As a result of stress, our cells produce heat shock proteins (HSPs). These cellular tools, also called stress proteins, or chaperone proteins ensure the preservation of the conformation and functionality of proteins. This physiological phenomenon is called "heat shock response". This answer is universal and represents the most highly conserved genetic system in organisms as diverse as bacteria, animals and plants.
HSPs regulate other functions such as transport, folding in the space of newly synthesized proteins, the assembly of chains of amino acids, neutralization of damaged molecules as well as the elimination of irreparable proteins. HSPs help to restore the constitutional and functional integrity of cells. There are two main groups of HSPs: the constituent HSPs and the inducible HSPs. Constitutive HSPs are more involved in the repair of the "self" and the "non-conforming self". These support the immune system in the phase of recognition of the conformity of the "self" with respect to a non-conforming structure. Inducible HSPs are primarily intended for the repair of stress-induced damage that may endanger cellular homeostasis.
The cellular response to stress is essentially manifested by an increase in the level of available HSPs. Following stress, two fundamental events guarantee the preservation of cells and tissues' functionning and integrity: the presence of a sufficient amount of HSPs, and especially, the rapid induction of their release or synthesis.
In the presence of the fruit extract, animal cells exposed to stress quickly release HSPs. By speeding up the process of protection and repair, the cells avoid the phase of "physiological exhaustion". The cell adapts better and accumulates fewer sequelae, resulting in less fatigue due to the physiological reactions necessary for tissue repair. Faster tissue repair delays the sequence of deleterious reactions.
This effect lasts more than two days. A minimum level of HSPs must be maintained as a certain level of HSPs is needed to initiate a subsequent synthesis. If all available HSPs are used for repair, the cells can no longer synthesize HSPs and therefore run out due to lack of protection.
In cell culture, TEX-OE extract, Opuntia mesocarp extract® contributes to the response to cellular stress under allostatic conditions.