Advertisement

Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 5–21 | Cite as

Modulation of cellular immunity in medical students

  • Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser
  • Ronald Glaser
  • Eric C. Strain
  • Julie C. Stout
  • Kathleen L. Tarr
  • Jane E. Holliday
  • Carl E. Speicher
Article

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

stress psychoimmunology relaxation cellular immunity 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aarstad, H. J., Gaudernack, G., and Seljelid, R. (1983). Stress causes reduced NK activity in mice.Scand. J. Immunol. 18: 461–464.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ader, R. (ed.). (1981)Psychoneuroimmunology, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Benson, H., Greenwood, M. M., and Klemchuck, H. (1975). The relaxation response: Psychophysiological aspects and clinical applications.Int. J. Psychiat. Med. 6: 87–98.Google Scholar
  4. Benson, H., Frankel, F. H., Apfel, R., Danields, M. D., Schniewind, H. E., Nemiah, J. C., Sifneos, P. E., Crassweller, K. D., Greenwood, M. M., Kotch, J. B., Arns, P. A., and Rosner, B. (1978). Treatment of anxiety: A comparison of the usefulness of self-hypnosis and a meditation relaxation technique.Psychother. Psychosom. 30: 229–242.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Buffone, G. J. (1980).Transferrin, ICS-14, Beckman Instruments, Fullerton, Calif.Google Scholar
  6. Chandra, R. K., and Newberne, P. M. (1977). Nutrition, immunity and infection. InMechanisms of Interactions, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 235–248.Google Scholar
  7. Coe, C. L., Weiner, S. G., Rosenberg, L. T., and Levine, S. (1985). Endocrine and immune responses to separation and maternal loss in nonhuman primates. In Reite, M., and Field, T. (eds.),The Biology of Social Attachment, Academic Press, New York, (in press).Google Scholar
  8. Cousins, N. (1976). Anatomy of an illness (as perceived by the patient).New Engl. J. Med. 295: 1458–1467.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. DeLongis, A., Coyne, J. C., Dakof, G., Folkman, S., and Lazarus, R. S., (1982). Relationship of daily hassles, uplifts, and major life events to health status.Health Psychol. 1: 119–136.Google Scholar
  10. Derogatis, L. R., and Spencer, P. M. (1982).The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI): Administration, Scoring, and Procedures Manual, I, Clinical Psychometric Research, Baltimore, Md.Google Scholar
  11. Doumas, B. T., Watson, W. A., and Biggs, H. G. (1971). Albumin and the measurement of serum albumin with bromcresol green.Clin. Chim. Acta 31: 87–96.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Edmonston, W. E. (1981).Hypnosis and Relaxation, John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  13. English, E. H., and Baker, T. B. (1983). Relaxation training and cardiovascular response to experimental Stressors.Health Psychol. 2: 239–259.Google Scholar
  14. Glaser, R., and Gottlieb-Stematsky, T. (eds.) (1982).Human Herpesvirus Infections: Clinical Aspects, Marcel Dekker, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Glaser, R., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., George, J. M., Speicher, C. E., and Holliday, J. E. (1985). Stress, loneliness, and herpesvirus latency.J. Behav. Med. 8: 249–260.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Herberman, R. B. (1982). Possible effects of central nervous system on natural killer (NK) cell activity. In Levy, S. M. (ed.),Biological Mediators of Health and Disease: Neoplasia, Elsevier, New York, pp. 235–248.Google Scholar
  17. Kanner, A. D., Coyne, J. C., Schaefer, C., and Lazarus, R. S. (1981). Comparison of two modes of stress measurement: Daily hassles and uplifts versus major life events.J. Behav. Med. 4: 1–39.Google Scholar
  18. Keyser, J. W. (1979).Human Plasma Proteins, John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Garner, W., Speicher, C., Penn, G. M., Holliday, J. E., and Glaser, R. (1984a). Psychosocial modifiers of immunocompetence in medical students.Psychosom. Med. 46: 7–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Glaser, R., Williger, D., Stout, J., Messick, G., Sheppard, S., Ricker, D., Romisher, S. C., Briner, W., Bonnell, G., and Donnerberg, R. (1985a). Psychosocial enhancement of immunocompetence in a geriatric population.Health Psychol. 4: 25–41.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., and Greenberg, B. (1984). Social support as a moderator of the aftereffects of stress in female psychiatric inpatients.J. Abnorm. Psychol. 93: 192–199.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Ricker, D., George, J., Messick, G., Speicher, C. E., Garner, W., and Glaser, R. (1984b). Urinary cortisol, cellular immunocompetency and loneliness in psychiatric inpatients.Psychosom. Med. 46: 15–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Speicher, C. E., Holliday, J. E., and Glaser, R. (1984c). Stress and the transformation of lymphocytes by Epstein-Barr virus.J. Behav. Med. 7: 1–12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Stephens, R. E., Lipetz, P. D., Speicher, C. E., and Glaser, R. (1985b). Distress and DNA repair in human lymphocytes.J. Behav. Med. 8: 311–320.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lazarus, R. S. (1982). Stress and coping as factors in health and illness. In Cohen, J., Cullen, J. W., and Martin, L. R. (eds.),Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer, Raven Press, New York, pp. 163–190.Google Scholar
  26. Lehrer, P. M., Schoickett, S., Carrington, P., and Woolfolk, R. L. (1980). Psychophysiological and cognitive responses to stressful stimuli in subjects practicing progressive relaxation and clinically standardized meditation.Behav. Res. Ther. 18: 293–303.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Levy, S. M., Herberman, R. B., and Maluish, A. M. (1984). Behavioral and immunological risk factors in primary breast cancer. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.Google Scholar
  28. Moll, B., Emeson, E. E., Small, C. B., Friedland, G. H., Klein, R. S., and Spigland, I. (1982). Inverted ratio of inducer to suppressor T-lymphocyte subsets in drug abusers with opportunistic infections.Clin. Immunol. Immunopathol. 25: 17–423.Google Scholar
  29. Monroe, S. M. (1983). Major and minor life events as predictors of psychological distress: Further issues and findings.J. Behav. Med. 6: 189–205.Google Scholar
  30. Reinherz, E. L., and Schlossman, S. F. (1980). Current concepts in immunology: Regulation of the immune response —Inducer and suppressor T-Iymphocyte subsets in human beings.N. Engl. J. Med. 303: 370–373.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Rodkey, F. L. (1965). Direct spectrophotometric determination of albumin in human serum.Clin. Chem. 11: 478–487.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Rubenstein, C., and Shaver P. (1982). The experience of loneliness. In Peplau, L. A., and Perlman, D. (eds.),Loneliness: A Sourcebook of Current Research, Theory, and Therapy, Wiley Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  33. Russell, D. (1980). The revised UCLA Loneliness Scale: Concurrent and discriminant validity evidence.J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 39: 472–480.Google Scholar
  34. Russell, D. (1982). The measurement of loneliness. In Peplau, L. A., and Perlman, D. (eds.),Loneliness: A Sourcebook of Current Research, Theory and Therapy, John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  35. Shaver, P., Furman, W., and Buhrmester, D. (1984). Aspects of a life transition: Network changes, social skills, and loneliness. In Duck, S., and Perlman, D. (eds.),The Sage Series in Personal Relationships, Vol. 1, Sage, London.Google Scholar
  36. Strayer, D. R., Carter, W. A., Mayberry, S. D., Pequignot, E., and Brodsky, I. (1984). Low natural cytotoxicity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in individuals with high familial incidences of cancer.Cancer Res. 44: 370–374.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Surwit, R. S., and Feinglos, M. N. (1983). The effects of relaxation on glucose tolerance in non-insulin-dependent diabetes.Diabetes Care 6: 176–179.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Tietz, N. W. (1976). The determination of iron and iron-binding capacity.Foundamentals of Clinical Chemistry, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, pp. 926–928.Google Scholar
  39. Waller, R. A., and Duncan, D. B. (1969). A Bayes rule for the symmetric multiple comparisons problem.Am. Stat. Assoc. J. 64: 1483–1503.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser
    • 1
  • Ronald Glaser
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eric C. Strain
    • 1
  • Julie C. Stout
    • 2
  • Kathleen L. Tarr
    • 2
  • Jane E. Holliday
    • 2
  • Carl E. Speicher
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryOhio State University College of MedicineColumbus
  2. 2.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyOhio State University College of MedicineColumbus
  3. 3.Comprehensive Cancer CenterOhio State University College of MedicineColumbus
  4. 4.Department of PathologyOhio State University College of MedicineColumbus

Personalised recommendations