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Investigation into the cross-correlation of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase responses to psychological stress.
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011 Oct; 36(9):1294-302.P

Abstract

Stress is a multidimensional construct. To accurately represent stress physiology, multiple stress measures across multiple stress-related systems should be assessed. However, associations may be masked given that different systems underlie different time courses. Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA) are reliable biological stress markers of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, respectively. Studies examining the link between sAA and cortisol levels in response to stress have produced inconsistent results. Here, we investigated whether the covariance of stress-induced sAA and cortisol release is dependent on the distinct temporal dynamics of the two stress markers. A total of 50 male participants were exposed to a psychological laboratory stressor with high frequency (2-min interval) saliva sampling in two independent studies. Synchronized time series of sAA and cortisol measures before, during and after stress induction were obtained. Cross-correlation analysis was applied to test for the association of sAA and cortisol levels at various stages relative to the onset of the stressor. Positive and negative cross-correlations between lagged pairs of sAA and cortisol measures were found in both studies. The strongest correlation was found for sAA preceding cortisol release by 13.5 min (r = .27, p < .001). With a smaller effect size cortisol also significantly preceded sAA by 13.5 min (r = -.16, p < .001). We suggest that sAA and cortisol stress responses are reliably associated at various time lags throughout a stressful situation. As a possible connection site between HPA axis and SNS that may underlie sAA-cortisol associations, we discuss CRF neurons of the hypothalamus involved in sympathetic regulation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. engert@cbs.mpg.deNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Controlled Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21470780

Citation

Engert, Veronika, et al. "Investigation Into the Cross-correlation of Salivary Cortisol and Alpha-amylase Responses to Psychological Stress." Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 36, no. 9, 2011, pp. 1294-302.
Engert V, Vogel S, Efanov SI, et al. Investigation into the cross-correlation of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase responses to psychological stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011;36(9):1294-302.
Engert, V., Vogel, S., Efanov, S. I., Duchesne, A., Corbo, V., Ali, N., & Pruessner, J. C. (2011). Investigation into the cross-correlation of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase responses to psychological stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36(9), 1294-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.02.018
Engert V, et al. Investigation Into the Cross-correlation of Salivary Cortisol and Alpha-amylase Responses to Psychological Stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011;36(9):1294-302. PubMed PMID: 21470780.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Investigation into the cross-correlation of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase responses to psychological stress. AU - Engert,Veronika, AU - Vogel,Susanne, AU - Efanov,Simona I, AU - Duchesne,Annie, AU - Corbo,Vincent, AU - Ali,Nida, AU - Pruessner,Jens C, Y1 - 2011/04/05/ PY - 2010/08/11/received PY - 2011/01/19/revised PY - 2011/02/25/accepted PY - 2011/4/8/entrez PY - 2011/4/8/pubmed PY - 2012/1/21/medline SP - 1294 EP - 302 JF - Psychoneuroendocrinology JO - Psychoneuroendocrinology VL - 36 IS - 9 N2 - Stress is a multidimensional construct. To accurately represent stress physiology, multiple stress measures across multiple stress-related systems should be assessed. However, associations may be masked given that different systems underlie different time courses. Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA) are reliable biological stress markers of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, respectively. Studies examining the link between sAA and cortisol levels in response to stress have produced inconsistent results. Here, we investigated whether the covariance of stress-induced sAA and cortisol release is dependent on the distinct temporal dynamics of the two stress markers. A total of 50 male participants were exposed to a psychological laboratory stressor with high frequency (2-min interval) saliva sampling in two independent studies. Synchronized time series of sAA and cortisol measures before, during and after stress induction were obtained. Cross-correlation analysis was applied to test for the association of sAA and cortisol levels at various stages relative to the onset of the stressor. Positive and negative cross-correlations between lagged pairs of sAA and cortisol measures were found in both studies. The strongest correlation was found for sAA preceding cortisol release by 13.5 min (r = .27, p < .001). With a smaller effect size cortisol also significantly preceded sAA by 13.5 min (r = -.16, p < .001). We suggest that sAA and cortisol stress responses are reliably associated at various time lags throughout a stressful situation. As a possible connection site between HPA axis and SNS that may underlie sAA-cortisol associations, we discuss CRF neurons of the hypothalamus involved in sympathetic regulation. SN - 1873-3360 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21470780/Investigation_into_the_cross_correlation_of_salivary_cortisol_and_alpha_amylase_responses_to_psychological_stress_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306-4530(11)00090-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -