Time-of-day effects on response of natural killer cells to acute stress in men and women

Author: Delahanty DL//Wang T//Maravich C//Forlenza M////
Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Ohio 44242, USA. ddelahan@kent.edu
Conference/Journal: Health Psychol
Date published: 2000
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 39-45 , Word Count: 171

Diurnal influences on natural killer (NK) cell changes to acute stress were assessed in 21 men and 21 women assigned to either an acute stress (mental arithmetic) or control task condition. Sessions began at either 8 a.m. or 2 p.m. Number of NK (CD3-CD56+) cells and NK activity were measured at baseline, during the 5-min task, and 60 and 90 min after the task. Both morning and afternoon stress participants had elevated NK cell numbers during the task. After the task, number of NK cells decreased in morning stress participants but remained significantly above baseline levels 60 and 90 min posttask. NK cell numbers in afternoon stress participants decreased to below baseline levels 60 and 90 min after the task. Changes in NK activity were driven primarily by diurnal influences. NK activity increased in all morning participants and stayed increased 60 and 90 min posttask. NK activity of all afternoon participants also increased during the task but dropped below baseline 60 and 90 min later. Greater increases in NK levels and activity during the task were associated with greater heart rate changes.