Enya? En-NO!

April 12, 2012

Eva Gusnowski

Music can easily change your mood. But did you know that it could actually change how an immune system functions?

A recent study looked at the influence that various types of music had on mice that had received a heart transplant. The donor hearts had a different set of HLA genes compared to the mice receiving the transplant, meaning that the donor hearts were definitely recognized as something foreign. In this study, the researchers looked at the amount of time that the transplanted mice took to reject their donor hearts when they were played different types of music and sounds.


enya, science in seconds, classical music, mice

The mice were played one of six different single frequency sounds, opera (La Traviata), classical (Mozart) or New Age (Enya), in addition to some music control groups. In order to look at what effects the music had, the mice were analyzed for graft survival and the generation of immune cells and inflammatory proteins directed against the donor hearts.

On average, the transplanted mice exposed to opera or classical music had donor heart survival for an average of 26.5 and 20 days, respectively. Single frequency sounds and, lo and behold, Enya, failed to significantly prolong donor heart survival. Additionally, immune cells and inflammatory proteins were suppressed in the mice that were played opera compared to untreated mice.


So altogether, this not only means that playing transplant recipients opera music might be able to prolong the time to heart transplant rejection, but also that, like many people, mice hate Enya.



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