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Psychiatry Res. 1999 Mar 22;85(3):293-303.

Influence of psychological stress on immune-inflammatory variables in normal humans. Part II. Altered serum concentrations of natural anti-inflammatory agents and soluble membrane antigens of monocytes and T lymphocytes.

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1
Clinical Research Centre for Mental Health, University Department of Psychiatry, Antwerpen, Belgium. csong@sprint.ca

Abstract

The effects of academic examination stress on serum concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1 receptor (R) antagonist (A), soluble(s) IL-2R, sIL-6R, soluble glycoprotein 130 (sgp130), Clara cell protein (CC16), sCD8 and sCD14 were evaluated in 38 university students. The relationships among changes in the above immune-inflammatory variables, levels of serum cortisol, and scores on the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) or the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were examined. Academic examination stress was associated with significant increases in PSS and STAI scores, and in serum sgp130 and sCD8 values. Academic examination stress was associated with significantly decreased serum sCD14 concentrations in students with high, but not low, stress perception. There were stress-induced differences in serum IL-1RA, sIL-6R and CC16 concentrations between students with high vs. low stress-induced anxiety. The stress-induced increase in serum sCD8 was significantly more pronounced in male students, whereas the increase in serum sgp130 was more pronounced in female students taking contraceptive drugs. These results suggest that: (1) psychological stress induces immune-inflammatory changes pointing toward complex regulatory responses in IL-6 signalling, a decreased anti-inflammatory capacity of the serum, and interactions with T cell and monocytic activation; and that (2) sex hormones may modify stress-induced immune-inflammatory responses.

PMID:
10333381
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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