Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 5–21

Modulation of cellular immunity in medical students

Authors

  • Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser
    • Department of PsychiatryOhio State University College of Medicine
  • Ronald Glaser
    • Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyOhio State University College of Medicine
    • Comprehensive Cancer CenterOhio State University College of Medicine
  • Eric C. Strain
    • Department of PsychiatryOhio State University College of Medicine
  • Julie C. Stout
    • Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyOhio State University College of Medicine
  • Kathleen L. Tarr
    • Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyOhio State University College of Medicine
  • Jane E. Holliday
    • Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyOhio State University College of Medicine
  • Carl E. Speicher
    • Department of PathologyOhio State University College of Medicine
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00844640

Cite this article as:
Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Glaser, R., Strain, E.C. et al. J Behav Med (1986) 9: 5. doi:10.1007/BF00844640

Abstract

This study assessed the psychosocial modulation of cellular immunity in 34 medical-student volunteers. The first blood sample was obtained 1 month before examinations, and the second on the day of examinations. There were significant declines in the percentage of helper/inducer T- lymphocytes, in the helper/inducer-suppressor/cytotoxic-cell ratio, and in natural killer-cell activity in the blood samples obtained on the day of examinations. Half of the subjects were randomly assigned to a relaxation group which met between sample points; the frequency of relaxation practice was a significant predictor of the percentages of helper/inducer cells in the examination sample. Three biochemical nutritional assays (albumin, transferrin, and total iron-binding protein) were within normal limits on both samples. Data from the Brief Symptom Inventory showed significantly increased global self-rated distress associated with examinations in the no-intervention group, compared to nonsignificant change in the relaxation group. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Key words

stresspsychoimmunologyrelaxationcellular immunity

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986