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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20795. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020795. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Association between urinary excretion of cortisol and markers of oxidatively damaged DNA and RNA in humans.

Author information

1
Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. anders.01.joergensen@regionh.dk

Abstract

Chronic psychological stress is associated with accelerated aging, but the underlying biological mechanisms are not known. Prolonged elevations of the stress hormone cortisol is suspected to play a critical role. Through its actions, cortisol may potentially induce oxidatively generated damage to cellular constituents such as DNA and RNA, a phenomenon which has been implicated in aging processes. We investigated the relationship between 24 h excretion of urinary cortisol and markers of oxidatively generated DNA and RNA damage, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine, in a sample of 220 elderly men and women (age 65-83 years). We found a robust association between the excretion of cortisol and the oxidation markers (R(2) = 0.15, P<0.001 for both markers). Individuals in the highest quartile of cortisol excretion had a 57% and 61% higher median excretion of the DNA and RNA oxidation marker, respectively, than individuals in the lowest quartile. The finding adds support to the hypothesis that cortisol-induced damage to DNA/RNA is an explanatory factor in the complex relation between stress, aging and disease.

PMID:
21687734
PMCID:
PMC3110199
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0020795
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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