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Psychosom Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;76(9):716-25. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000118.

Increases in exhaled nitric oxide after acute stress: association with measures of negative affect and depressive mood.

Author information

1
From the Department of Psychology (T.R., A.F.T., E.S.), Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas; Department of Psychology (A.F.T.), Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador; Department of Internal Medicine (R.J.A.), UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Texas; and Department of Internal Medicine (R.J.A.), University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increases in fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) have been observed after acute laboratory stress, which could indicate a strengthening of immune defenses in acute stress because of the quick onset of the response and the role of nitric oxide in airway-protective functions. In addition, because sustained psychological distress and depression are known to deteriorate immune defenses systems, they may dampen the FeNO response to acute stress.

METHODS:

FeNO and negative affect were measured before and after a speech and mental arithmetic stressor. We examined the association of stress-induced FeNO changes with momentary negative affect and questionnaires of perceived stress, anxious mood, and depressive mood in 39 asthma patients and 41 healthy controls.

RESULTS:

FeNO increased from baseline to stress in participants with asthma (from 3.38 [0.102] to 3.46 [0.103] ln(ppb)) and controls (2.86 [0.098] to 2.92 [0.099]; F(4,141) = 3.26, p = .014), but the magnitude of the FeNO response did not differ between groups (F < 1). Only low levels of depressive mood were associated with FeNO increases after stress (most pronounced at 0 minute poststress; t(76) = 3.87, p < .001). In contrast, only higher perceived stress was associated with FeNO increases (most pronounced at 0 minute poststress; t(75) = 4.09, p < .001), and momentary negative affect was associated with higher FeNO throughout assessments (β = 0.08, t(114) = 8.27, p = .005). Associations of FeNO with psychological variables were largely unrelated to asthma status and inhaled corticosteroid use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Depressive mood is associated with a reduced mobilization of airway nitric oxide in acute stress, whereas other indicators of negative affect are positively associated with overall FeNO levels and reactivity.

PMID:
25353641
DOI:
10.1097/PSY.0000000000000118
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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