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Brain Behav Immun. 2002 Dec;16(6):675-84.

The relation of aggression, hostility, and anger to lipopolysaccharide-stimulated tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha by blood monocytes from normal men.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Box 3328, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27110, USA.


Aggression, hostility, and anger significantly predict morbidity and mortality from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD). ACVD is believed to be an inflammatory disease characterized by increased expression of a number of proinflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. This study examined the relation of aggression, hostility, and anger to monocyte-associated TNF-alpha expression following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. Participants were 62 healthy, non-smoking men (aged 18-45 years). Hostility, anger, verbal, and physical aggression were assessed using the Buss-Perry aggression questionnaire (BPAQ). LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha expression was determined using dual-color flow cytometry gating for CD14(+) cells. After controlling for age, race, education, and alcohol use, scores on the hostility (p=.013), physical aggression (p=.010), and verbal aggression (p=.034) subscales, and the total score (p=.007) on the BPAQ were positively associated with LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha expression. The results suggest that hostility and aggression are associated with an increased expression of TNF-alpha, a cytokine implicated in ACVD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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