Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress: The reactivity hypothesis A

John T. Cacioppo, Gary G. Berntson, William B. Malarkey, Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, John F. Sheridan, Kirsten M. Poehlmann, Mary H. Burleson, John M. Ernst, Louise C. Hawkley, Ronald Glaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the effects of brief psychological Stressors on cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and cellular immune response in 22 older women to investigate the common effects of stress across systems. Results revealed that psychological Stressors heightened - cardiac sympathetic activation, elevated plasma catecholamine concentrations, and affected the cellular immune response (ps < 0.05). In a replication and extension, 27 women caring for a spouse with a progressive dementia (high chronic stress) and 37 controls category matched for age and family income (low chronic stress) performed the 12min laboratory Stressor. Measures were taken before (low acute stress) and immediately following (high acute stress) exposure to the laboratory Stressors as well as 30 min after termination of the Stressor (recovery period). Acute stress again heightened cardiac sympathetic activation, elevated plasma catecholamine concentrations, and affected cellular immune responses (ps < 0.05), whereas chronic stress was associated with higher reports of negative affect, enhanced cardiac sympathetic activation, elevated blood pressure and plasma levels of ACTH, and diminished production of interleukin-1β (ps < 0.05). Correlational analyses in both studies further suggested that individuals who showed the greatest stress-related changes in HPA activation also exhibited the greatest diminution in cellular immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-673
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume840
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress: The reactivity hypothesis A'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this