News / 

Short Bouts of Stress Boosts Immunity

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb 07, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Ohio State University research suggests short bouts of stress increase one's skin's ability to fight infections and heal minor wounds.

The immune response of rats and mice exposed to acute stress -- about two hours of restraint -- was two to four times higher compared with non-stressed animals, according to study leader Firdaus Dhabhar, an OSU associate professor of oral biology and molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics.

The animals' skin was treated with chemical or protein antigens -- an antigen is any substance that the immune system reacts to by producing cells and antibodies -- immediately after the stressful event.

Stress plus exposure to the antigen triggered an immune response that remained strong for weeks to several months later, when the animals were re-exposed to the irritant without further restraint.

Dhabhar is to present his research on the effects of acute stress on skin immunity during next week in Washington during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast