How music prevents organ rejection

Music has a fundamental affect on humans. It can reduce stress, enhance relaxation, provide a distraction from pain, and improve the results of clinical therapy.

 New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery demonstrates that music can reduce rejection of heart transplants in mice by influencing the immune system.

The link between the immune system and brain function is not clearly understood; nevertheless music is used clinically to reduce anxiety after heart attack, or to reduce pain and nausea during bone marrow transplantation. There is some evidence that music may act via the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the bodily functions that we have no conscious control over, including digestion.

Music influence the immune system

Researchers from Japan investigated if music could influence the survival of heart transplants in mice. They found that opera and classical music both increased the time before the transplanted organs failed, but single frequency monotones and new age music did not.

The team led by Dr Masanori Niimi pinpointed the source of this protection to the spleen. Dr Uchiyama and Jin revealed, "Opera exposed mice had lower levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ). They also had increased levels of anti-inflammatory IL-4 and IL-10. Significantly these mice had increased numbers of CD4+CD25+ cells, which regulate the peripheral immune response."

It seems that music really does influence the immune system – although the mechanism behind this still is not clear. Additionally, this study only looked at a limited selection of composers, so the effect of music on reducing organ rejection may not be limited to opera.

(EurekAlert, March 2012) 

Read more:

Music releases feel good hormones

Immune sytem boosters

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4183 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5060 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.93
-1.8%
Rand - Pound
19.45
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.37
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.70
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,643.66
0.0%
Silver
18.87
0.0%
Palladium
2,073.00
0.0%
Platinum
858.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,110
-3.1%
All Share
63,417
-2.9%
Resource 10
56,319
-7.5%
Industrial 25
78,436
-1.2%
Financial 15
14,142
-1.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE