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Acute mental stress but not enforced muscle activity transiently increases natural cytotoxicity in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Journal article
Authors Ingibjörg H Jonsdottir
C Johansson
Alexzander Asea
Kristoffer Hellstrand
P Hoffmann
Published in Acta physiologica Scandinavica
Volume 157
Issue 4
Pages 443-9
ISSN 0001-6772
Publication year 1996
Published at Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dept of Physiology
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Virology
Pages 443-9
Language en
Keywords Animals, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Electric Stimulation, Epinephrine, blood, Hypertension, immunology, physiopathology, psychology, Immunity, Natural, Killer Cells, Natural, immunology, Male, Muscle Contraction, immunology, Norepinephrine, blood, Rats, Rats, Inbred SHR, Stress, Psychological, immunology, Tumor Cells, Cultured
Subject categories Physiology


The influence of acute mental stress and the effect of electrically induced skeletal muscle contractions on natural cytotoxicity in vivo was investigated in spontaneously hypertensive rats Natural cytotoxicity in vivo was measured as the clearance of injected 51Cr-labelled YAC-1 lymphoma cells from the lungs, which are specifically lysed by natural killer cells. The mental stress consisted of an air jet directed towards the animals in their cage for 25 min. During the mental stress there was a significant increase in natural cytotoxicity. Thus, retained radioactivity in the lungs was decreased to 74 +/- 6% of the control levels which was set to 100% (P < 0.01). This augmentation of YAC-1-cell clearance could be blocked with the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist Timolol. Two hours after termination of the air stress, in vivo cytotoxicity had returned to control levels. In contrast, acute physical stress, consisting of electrically induced muscle contractions for 60 min, had no significant effects on in vivo cytotoxicity, either during the stimulation or 1, 2 or 24 h after the stimulation. Further, significantly increased plasma levels of adrenaline were seen after the air jet stress, but not after muscle stimulation. There were no significant changes in plasma noradrenaline levels either after air stress or muscle stimulation. These results indicate that changes in in vivo cytotoxicity after mild mental stress are dependent on increased plasma catecholamine levels while acute physical stress without changes in catecholamine levels, does not influence in vivo cytotoxicity.

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