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Int J Mol Med. 2001 Dec;8(6):645-50.

The elevation of natural killer cell activity induced by laughter in a crossover designed study.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, D3, Suita City, Osaka 565-0871, Japan. kiyotake@psy.med.osaka-u.ac.jp

Abstract

The elevation of natural killer cell activity (NKCA) by laughter was not confirmed due to incomplete methodology of previous studies although positive emotion is believed to be favorable for health. To verify NKCA elevation by laughter in a crossover design, we measured NKCA before and after watching films, presenting 75-min comic film and non-emotional control film at different days to the same 21 healthy male subjects. Electromyogram of left major zygomatic muscle was obtained during the films to quantify the magnitude of laughter as an index of emotional expression. As indices of emotional experience, the self-rated pleasantness of the comic film and mood state before and after film were measured using visual analogue scale and Profiles of Mood State (POMS), respectively. The comic film significantly elevated NKCA (26.5-29.4%, p<0.05), whereas the control film did not (27.1-24.8%, not significant). This is the first study to demonstrate NKCA elevation by laughter in a crossover designed study. To examine the contribution of experiential and expressive aspects of laughter to NKCA elevation, correlation of NKCA elevation with the self-rated pleasantness, mood scores before and after comic film and the magnitude of laughter was statistically tested. We found that NKCA elevation was negatively correlated with the scores of negative mood scales of POMS while NKCA elevation had no significant correlation with self-rated pleasantness and the magnitude of laughter. Further group analysis revealed that high scores of depression and anger-hostility suppressed NKCA elevation by laughter. We also found that NKCA before and after comic film had tendency of correlation with self-rated pleasantness of the comic film while NKCA had no correlation with the magnitude of laughter. These findings suggest that NKCA elevation and NKCA before and after comic film seem to be related with the experiential aspects of laughter rather than with the expressive aspects.

PMID:
11712080
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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