Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress

The reactivity hypothesis

J. T. Cacioppo, G. G. Berntson, W. B. Malarkey, J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. F. Sheridan, K. M. Poehlmann, Mary Burleson, J. M. Ernst, L. C. Hawkley, R. Glaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

177 Citations (Scopus)

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 12-min 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

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Psychological Stress
Cellular Immunity
Chemical activation
Plasmas
Catecholamines
Psychology
Blood pressure
Spouses
Interleukin-1
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Dementia
Blood Pressure
Recovery
Psychological
Reactivity
Activation
Plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Malarkey, W. B., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Sheridan, J. F., Poehlmann, K. M., ... Glaser, R. (1998). Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress: The reactivity hypothesis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 840, 664-673. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1998.tb09605.x

Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress : The reactivity hypothesis. / Cacioppo, J. T.; Berntson, G. G.; Malarkey, W. B.; Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K.; Sheridan, J. F.; Poehlmann, K. M.; Burleson, Mary; Ernst, J. M.; Hawkley, L. C.; Glaser, R.

In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 840, 01.05.1998, p. 664-673.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cacioppo, JT, Berntson, GG, Malarkey, WB, Kiecolt-Glaser, JK, Sheridan, JF, Poehlmann, KM, Burleson, M, Ernst, JM, Hawkley, LC & Glaser, R 1998, 'Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress: The reactivity hypothesis', Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 840, pp. 664-673. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1998.tb09605.x
Cacioppo, J. T. ; Berntson, G. G. ; Malarkey, W. B. ; Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. ; Sheridan, J. F. ; Poehlmann, K. M. ; Burleson, Mary ; Ernst, J. M. ; Hawkley, L. C. ; Glaser, R. / Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress : The reactivity hypothesis. In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1998 ; Vol. 840. pp. 664-673.
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