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Sci Total Environ. 2001 Apr 10;270(1-3):3-11.

Lifestyles and mental health status are associated with natural killer cell and lymphokine-activated killer cell activities.

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Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.


We investigated the association of lifestyle and mental health status with natural killer (NK) cell and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell activities in healthy males. NK cell activity was determined in 105 male workers and LAK cell activity was determined in 54 male workers. Peripheral blood was obtained from each subject and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated from the blood. These PBMC were used as effector cells. LAK cells were generated by incubation of PBMC with interleukin-2 for 72 h. NK cell activity against NK-sensitive K562 cells and LAK cell activity against NK-resistant Raji cells were examined by 51Cr release assay. Overall lifestyles were evaluated according to the answers on a questionnaire regarding eight health practices (cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, eating breakfast, hours of sleep, hours of work, physical exercise, nutritional balance, mental stress). Subjects with a good overall lifestyle showed significantly higher NK cell (P < 0.05) and LAK cell (P < 0.05) activities than those with a poor overall lifestyles. Among eight lifestyle factors, cigarette smoking has relatively strong effects on NK cell and LAK cell activities. Subjects who complained of unstable mental status had significantly lower NK cell activity than those who reported stable mental status. When subjects were divided into four groups by lifestyle and mental health status, subjects who had poor or moderate lifestyle and reported unstable mental status showed the lowest NK cell activity and subjects who had good lifestyle and reported stable mental status showed the highest NK cell activity among four groups.

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