What effect does the nature of immunity have?

Psychologists from the University of Nottingham and California State University, USA, investigated the relationship between certain personality characteristics and the expression of genes that control immunity.

In the study, 120 people in good health participated, 86 women and 35 men in the age range of 18-59 years. The age of the participants was on average about 24 years, and the ratio between the height and body weight of the volunteers, that is, the BMI, was 23.

Each of the participants filled out a questionnaire independently, the purpose of which was to evaluate 5 basic personality characteristics – extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

The volunteers gave blood for the scientists to analyze gene expression. The researchers also took into account factors that could influence the results such as smoking, regular alcohol consumption and physical activity.

To analyze the relationship between the 5 main characteristics of human personality and the two groups of genes responsible for the function of leukocytes /blood cells that provide protection to the body against a wide range of diseases/, using highly sensitive microchip-based technology.

The analysis of the gene expression of the immune cells was performed in the specialized laboratory at the University of California State, USA. It was established that community causes increased activity of proinflammatory genes, and conscientiousness is the reason for the weakening of expression of these genes.

In other words, the immunity of people who are most likely to be exposed to a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, due to their sociability, that is, extroverts, faster deal with infectious diseases and they less often possible chronification is observed.

And the cells of the immune system of those who are less often exposed to bacteria and viruses, because they are always more cautious, because of their typical good faith, react less to infectious microorganisms.

Openness was also correlated with reduced activity of proinflammatory genes, and no similar conditioning was found for neuroticism and agreeableness.

Researchers were unable to find evidence to support the well-known theory that a predisposition to negative thinking is a cause of poor health.

Scientists are also still not entirely convinced whether personal characteristics influence immune cell gene expression or vice versa.

However, the authors emphasize that in order to assert this with certainty, it is necessary to carry out many more experiments and tests.

And the new data could finally confirm the truth of the long observed epidemiological associations between a person’s character type, physical health and life expectancy.

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