Investigaciones Científicas en UCM

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Mercedes García-Martín, C. Vida, S. Limonche, F. Colmenares , M. De la Fuente

Department of Animal Physiology II, Faculty of Biology, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain

bUCM Group for the Study of Animal and Human Behaviour, Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

The aim of the present study was to examine the association between personality (the big five factors of personality and selfesteem), subjective well-being (life satisfaction) and the natural killer (NK) cell activity in a sample of 98 young (20–30 years old) healthy human volunteers (49 women and 49 men).

Personality traits were determined by means of the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) and the Self-Concept (AF5) questionnaires; subjective well-being was evaluated via the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), and the cytotoxic activity of NK cells against human tumor cells K562 was assessed using a commercial kit. The results revealed that: (1) participants scoring low in neuroticism-related traits [anxiety, social anxiety and impulsivity] showed higher NK activity (p < 0.05) than those showing high scores in these traits; (2) participants scoring high in extraversion-related traits associated with positive emotions had an increased NK cell activity (p < 0.01) compared with those showing low scores. Moreover, (3) participants scoring high in emotional self-esteem and/or in life satisfaction also exhibited an elevated NK activity (p < 0.05).These findings show the existence of an association between personality, well-being and NK activity, more specifically, they reveal a positive relation between positive emotions and that relevant immune function, which contributes to improved health.

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