Metabolic control in a state of decreased activation: modulation of red cell metabolism

Author: Jevning R//Wilson AF//Pirkle H//O'Halloran JP////
Conference/Journal: Am J Physiol
Date published: 1983
Other: Volume ID: 245 , Issue ID: 5 Pt 1 , Pages: C457-61 , Word Count: 188

Very little is known in depth of the biochemical and physiological changes induced at the cellular level by human behavioral states. For study of the physiology of behavior at this level, the erythrocyte may be useful, because it is readily available and its metabolism and metabolic control are comparatively well understood. In this report we describe a marked decline of red cell glycolytic rate induced by the transcendental meditation technique (TM). This decline was significantly correlated with decreased plasma lactate concentration and with relaxation as indicated by electrodermal response. The occurrence of sleep was not correlated with the metabolic changes. The observed lack of variation of blood pH, blood gases, glucose, and hematocrit in this behavior implies that the decrease of erythrocyte metabolism is not an epiphenomenon of respiratory change or substrate availability. Based upon further measurements indicating persisting alteration of the red blood cell, we suggest the possibility of attachment of a humoral agent(s) to the cell in the mechanism of this effect. This behavioral effect is unique, and the effector(s) responsible may increase our understanding of metabolic control of the erythrocyte and of TM.