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Dissociation between reactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system to repeated psychosocial stress.
Psychosom Med. 2003 May-Jun; 65(3):450-60.PM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study investigated endocrine and autonomic stress responses after repeated psychosocial stress. A first goal of the study was to investigate whether peripheral catecholamines and cardiovascular parameters would show similar or different habituation patterns after repeated stress. The second aim was to detect possible subgroups with regard to individual habituation patterns in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and monitor their respective sympathetic stress responses.

METHODS

Sixty-five healthy subjects (19-45 years), 38 men and 27 women, were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) three times with a 4-week interval between stress sessions. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), plasma cortisol, salivary cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and heart rates were measures repeatedly before and after each stress exposure.

RESULTS

All endocrine measures as well as heart rates increased significantly after each of the three stress sessions (F values >16.00, all p values <.01). Although salivary free cortisol, total plasma cortisol, ACTH, and heart rate stress responses showed a significant decrease across the three stress sessions (all F values > 5.8, p <.01), no such decrease could be observed for the levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine. A cluster analysis performed on the salivary free cortisol responses to all three stress sessions revealed two response groups consisting of 30 so-called "high responders" and 35 "low responders." The high responders also showed larger ACTH and total plasma cortisol responses compared with the low responders (all F values > 10.00, p <.01). No such differences between high and low responders could be observed with regard to catecholamine and heart rate responses.

CONCLUSIONS

From these data we conclude that habituation to psychosocial stress seems to be specific for a given response system. Although HPA responses quickly habituate, the sympathetic nervous system shows rather uniform activation patterns with repeated exposure to psychosocial challenge.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Psychobiology and Psychosomatic Research, University of Trier, Trier, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12764219

Citation

Schommer, Nicole C., et al. "Dissociation Between Reactivity of the Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal Axis and the Sympathetic-adrenal-medullary System to Repeated Psychosocial Stress." Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 65, no. 3, 2003, pp. 450-60.
Schommer NC, Hellhammer DH, Kirschbaum C. Dissociation between reactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system to repeated psychosocial stress. Psychosom Med. 2003;65(3):450-60.
Schommer, N. C., Hellhammer, D. H., & Kirschbaum, C. (2003). Dissociation between reactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system to repeated psychosocial stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(3), 450-60.
Schommer NC, Hellhammer DH, Kirschbaum C. Dissociation Between Reactivity of the Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal Axis and the Sympathetic-adrenal-medullary System to Repeated Psychosocial Stress. Psychosom Med. 2003 May-Jun;65(3):450-60. PubMed PMID: 12764219.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Dissociation between reactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system to repeated psychosocial stress. AU - Schommer,Nicole C, AU - Hellhammer,Dirk H, AU - Kirschbaum,Clemens, PY - 2003/5/24/pubmed PY - 2004/4/21/medline PY - 2003/5/24/entrez SP - 450 EP - 60 JF - Psychosomatic medicine JO - Psychosom Med VL - 65 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: This study investigated endocrine and autonomic stress responses after repeated psychosocial stress. A first goal of the study was to investigate whether peripheral catecholamines and cardiovascular parameters would show similar or different habituation patterns after repeated stress. The second aim was to detect possible subgroups with regard to individual habituation patterns in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and monitor their respective sympathetic stress responses. METHODS: Sixty-five healthy subjects (19-45 years), 38 men and 27 women, were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) three times with a 4-week interval between stress sessions. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), plasma cortisol, salivary cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and heart rates were measures repeatedly before and after each stress exposure. RESULTS: All endocrine measures as well as heart rates increased significantly after each of the three stress sessions (F values >16.00, all p values <.01). Although salivary free cortisol, total plasma cortisol, ACTH, and heart rate stress responses showed a significant decrease across the three stress sessions (all F values > 5.8, p <.01), no such decrease could be observed for the levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine. A cluster analysis performed on the salivary free cortisol responses to all three stress sessions revealed two response groups consisting of 30 so-called "high responders" and 35 "low responders." The high responders also showed larger ACTH and total plasma cortisol responses compared with the low responders (all F values > 10.00, p <.01). No such differences between high and low responders could be observed with regard to catecholamine and heart rate responses. CONCLUSIONS: From these data we conclude that habituation to psychosocial stress seems to be specific for a given response system. Although HPA responses quickly habituate, the sympathetic nervous system shows rather uniform activation patterns with repeated exposure to psychosocial challenge. SN - 1534-7796 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12764219/Dissociation_between_reactivity_of_the_hypothalamus_pituitary_adrenal_axis_and_the_sympathetic_adrenal_medullary_system_to_repeated_psychosocial_stress_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1097/01.psy.0000035721.12441.17 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -