Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Jul;14(4):483-490. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.4.483.

Effects of Mind-Body Training on Cytokines and Their Interactions with Catecholamines

  • 1Department of Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Global Cyber University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Mind-body training (MBT) may control reactions to stress and regulate the nervous and immune systems. The present study was designed to assess the effects of MBT on plasma cytokines and their interactions with catecholamines.
The study group consisted of 80 subjects who practice MBT and a control group of 62 healthy subjects. Plasma catecholamine (norepinephrine, NE; epinephrine, E; and dopamine, DA) and cytokine (TNF-alpha, IL-6, IFN-gamma, and IL-10) levels were measured, and the differences between the MBT and control groups and the interactions of cytokines with catecholamines were investigated.
A significant increase in IL-10+IFN-gamma was found in females of the MBT group compared with controls. Also, a significant increase of IL-10 (anti-inflammatory cytokine) in the MBT group was shown in a specific condition in which TNF-alpha and IL-6 (pro-inflammatory cytokines) are almost absent (≤1 ng/L) compared with controls. In the MBT group, significant positive correlations were found between IL-10 and the NE/E ratio and between IL-10 and the DA/E ratio, whereas the control group did not show any such correlations.
MBT may increase IL-10, under specific conditions such as a decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokines or E, which may regulate the stress response and possibly contribute to effective and beneficial interactions between the nervous and immune systems.


Mind-body training; Stress; Cytokines; Catecholamines
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