Activation of NK cells in subjects exposed to mild hyper- or hypothermic load

J Interferon Res. 1988 Jun;8(3):393-402. doi: 10.1089/jir.1988.8.393.


The effect of mild hyper- and hypothermic stress on release of selected hormones (somatotropin, noradrenaline, etc.), interferon (IFN), and activity of NK cells in the blood was examined in groups of young males during a 30 min exposure to 39 degrees C and 4 degrees C. A quick release of somatotropin was registered in 44% of examinees in the hyperthermic group, while the persons exposed to 4 degrees C reacted with a release of noradrenaline only. Concurrently, an elevation of NK cell activity was observed both in the subgroup releasing somatotropin after hyperthermic stress and in the group exposed to cold. Since these forms of mild stress did not lead to an appearance of IFN in the serum, the possibility of an NK cell activating effect of somatotropin and/or the adrenal hormones was tested. While the adrenal hormones stimulated the NK cell activity in vitro, no support for a similar role for somatotropin was found.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Hypothermia, Induced*
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Growth Hormone
  • Interferons
  • Norepinephrine