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Sample records for maternal cortisol awakening

  1. Attenuation of maternal psychophysiological stress responses and the maternal cortisol awakening response over the course of human pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Entringer, Sonja; Buss, Claudia; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A; Cammack, Alison L; Yim, Ilona S; Chicz-DeMet, Aleksandra; Sandman, Curt A; Wadhwa, Pathik D

    2010-05-01

    The effects of maternal stress during pregnancy may depend, in part, on the timing in gestation of the occurrence of stress. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of stage of gestation on maternal psychophysiological responses to stress using a standardized laboratory paradigm and on the cortisol response to awakening (CAR). A longitudinal design was employed to quantify maternal psychophysiological stress reactivity [changes in heart rate (HR), blood pressure, salivary cortisol, and psychological distress in response to the trier social stress test (TSST)] and the CAR at approximately 17 and 31 weeks gestation in a sample of 148 women. To account for the possible effects of habituation when being exposed to the same stress protocol twice, a non-pregnant comparison group (CG, N = 36) also underwent these assessments at two time points, with a comparable time interval between the assessments. In both groups, the TSST elicited significant changes in maternal HR, mean arterial pressure, and psychological distress levels but not a significant increase in cortisol levels. Among the pregnant women (pregnant group(PG)), the stressor-induced increases in HR, blood pressure, and psychological distress were significantly lower at the second (31 weeks gestation) compared to the first (17 weeks gestation) assessment of pregnancy (all p < 0.01). The maternal CAR was also significantly attenuated in later compared to earlier gestation (p = 0.003). In the CG, there were no significant differences in psychophysiological stress responses and in the CAR across the two assessments. Among pregnant women there is a progressive attenuation of psychophysiological stress responses with advancing gestation. This attenuation is unlikely to be attributable to habituation. Individual differences in the degree of attenuation of stress responses over gestation may represent a novel marker of stress susceptibility in human pregnancy.

  2. Humor attenuates the cortisol awakening response in healthy older men.

    PubMed

    Lai, Julian C L; Chong, Alice M L; Siu, Oswald T; Evans, Phil; Chan, Cecilia L W; Ho, Rainbow T H

    2010-05-01

    This study examined the impact of an important factor contributing to successful aging, humor, on post-awakening cortisol levels among a group of 45 older men whose ages ranged from 64 years to 86 years (mean=73.6 years). Four saliva samples were collected from the participants for 2 days immediately after waking and every 15 min thereafter for three times. Cortisol data of the 2 days were aggregated for analysis. Two separate indices of cortisol awakening response reflecting the mean level of secretion and the rise from immediately to 45 min post-awakening, AUC(G) and AUC(I), were computed using the trapezoid formula. The relation of these two indices to humor (operationalized as coping) was examined in a multiple regression analysis while controlling for the effect of age, socioeconomic status, and self-esteem. Results indicated that higher humor scores were associated with lower AUC(G) but had no relation with AUC(I). Findings of the present study suggest that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis is the major pathway whereby positive psychological dispositions, such as humor, exert their health effects in the aging population. Moreover, cortisol levels in the awakening period may be particularly sensitive to the influences of psychosocial factors.

  3. Feeding upon awakening in breastfeeding and bottlefeeding mothers does not affect the awakening cortisol response.

    PubMed

    Thanh Tu, Mai; Walker, Claire-Dominique; Lupien, Sonia J

    2005-09-01

    An acute breastfeeding stimulus is generally followed by a transient decrease in cortisol levels in mothers. It is currently not clear whether breastfeeding upon waking up would affect the awakening cortisol response (ACR), a significant increase in salivary cortisol levels occurring within 30-45 min after awakening. In the present study, we measured the amplitude and stability of the ACR in response to infant feeding in women who were exclusively bottle-feeding (n = 16), or breastfeeding (n = 13) or feeding their child solid food (n = 12). The results show that the type of infant feeding did not affect the amplitude and stability of the ACR. Given that the ACR has been reported to reflect physical and psychological well-being, our finding that infant feeding upon waking up might not be a confounding factor in ACR studies on the postpartum population represents valuable methodological information.

  4. The Impact of PTSD Treatment on the Cortisol Awakening Response

    PubMed Central

    Pacella, Maria L.; Feeny, Norah; Zoellner, Lori; Delahanty, Douglas L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with abnormal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; however, limited research has examined whether cortisol levels change following successful PTSD treatment. The current study examined the impact of successful PTSD treatment on the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Method Twenty-nine adults participating in a treatment trial for chronic PTSD provided saliva samples (upon waking, and 30, 45, and 60-min post-waking) before and after receiving either prolonged exposure therapy or sertraline. PTSD responder status (i.e., loss or retention of a PTSD diagnosis) served as the predictor variable. Outcome measures included area under the curve with respect to ground and increase, reflecting total cortisol output and HPA axis reactivity, respectively. Results A series of hierarchical regressions revealed no significant main effects of PTSD responder status for either CAR outcome. However, a significant gender by treatment response interaction for cortisol reactivity revealed that female treatment non-responders displayed higher cortisol reactivity following treatment than female responders, whereas cortisol reactivity did not change pre- to post-treatment for male responders. Findings remained after controlling for age, trauma history, baseline medication status, baseline PTSD, and baseline depressive symptoms. Conclusion Loss of a PTSD diagnosis may contribute to decreased cortisol reactivity in females. Neuroendocrine changes following treatment may emerge only for specific subgroups, highlighting the importance of exploring treatment moderators. PMID:25327949

  5. Maternal trait anxiety, emotional distress, and salivary cortisol in pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Pluess, Michael; Bolten, Margarete; Pirke, Karl-Martin; Hellhammer, Dirk

    2010-03-01

    Animal models suggest that stress-induced hormonal changes in the mother during pregnancy lead to enduring changes in the fetus and empirical links between prenatal maternal stress and negative child development have been discerned repeatedly in human studies. But the role of heritable personality traits has received little attention in the latter work. The goal of the current study was to investigate the relationship between maternal personality, psychological measures of maternal distress and maternal salivary cortisol during pregnancy. Maternal reports of personality (16 PF) and stress-related psychological measures (depression, pregnancy-related anxiety, perceived stress, negative life events) as well as salivary cortisol samples of 66 healthy pregnant women were collected in early and late pregnancy. Maternal trait anxiety proved related to all stress-related psychological measures and high anxiety predicted low baseline cortisol awakening levels in early pregnancy. Maternal trait anxiety is related to both psychological and biological stress measures during pregnancy.

  6. Assessment of the cortisol awakening response: Expert consensus guidelines.

    PubMed

    Stalder, Tobias; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kudielka, Brigitte M; Adam, Emma K; Pruessner, Jens C; Wüst, Stefan; Dockray, Samantha; Smyth, Nina; Evans, Phil; Hellhammer, Dirk H; Miller, Robert; Wetherell, Mark A; Lupien, Sonia J; Clow, Angela

    2016-01-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR), the marked increase in cortisol secretion over the first 30-45 min after morning awakening, has been related to a wide range of psychosocial, physical and mental health parameters, making it a key variable for psychoneuroendocrinological research. The CAR is typically assessed from self-collection of saliva samples within the domestic setting. While this confers ecological validity, it lacks direct researcher oversight which can be problematic as the validity of CAR measurement critically relies on participants closely following a timed sampling schedule, beginning with the moment of awakening. Researchers assessing the CAR thus need to take important steps to maximize and monitor saliva sampling accuracy as well as consider a range of other relevant methodological factors. To promote best practice of future research in this field, the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology initiated an expert panel charged with (i) summarizing relevant evidence and collective experience on methodological factors affecting CAR assessment and (ii) formulating clear consensus guidelines for future research. The present report summarizes the results of this undertaking. Consensus guidelines are presented on central aspects of CAR assessment, including objective control of sampling accuracy/adherence, participant instructions, covariate accounting, sampling protocols, quantification strategies as well as reporting and interpreting of CAR data. Meeting these methodological standards in future research will create more powerful research designs, thus yielding more reliable and reproducible results and helping to further advance understanding in this evolving field of research.

  7. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) across the female menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Wolfram, Maren; Bellingrath, Silja; Kudielka, Brigitte M

    2011-07-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been established as a useful marker of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and has become a standard tool for stress research in ambulatory settings. Although much knowledge has been accumulated on a variety of factors modulating the CAR, the impact of the female menstrual cycle, especially during ovulation, still remains unclear. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that measured the CAR during menses, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase in a repeated measurement design. For this purpose, a final sample of 29 naturally cycling, healthy, non-smoking, and medication-free women collected saliva samples directly after awakening as well as 30, 45, and 60 min later during each of the four different phases. To determine the timing of ovulation, an ambulatory chromatographic ovulation test kit was applied. A repeated measurements ANOVA resulted in a significant interaction effect sample × cycle phase (p=0.04), with the highest awakening response during ovulation. While awakening cortisol levels were comparable across the four cycle phases (p=n.s.), the net increase was significantly elevated during ovulation (p=0.05). Our data also confirmed earlier cross-sectional results reporting no differences in the CAR between the follicular and luteal phase. Finally, a concurrent assessment of mood applying the POMS (Profile of Mood States) yielded no differences across the four cycle phases (all p=n.s.). In sum, the present data points to the idea that the CAR is elevated during ovulation, an effect which is presumably mediated by elevated sex steroid levels during the ovulation period.

  8. Elevated Trajectories of Externalizing Problems Are Associated with Lower Awakening Cortisol Levels in Midadolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haltigan, John D.; Roisman, Glenn I.; Susman, Elizabeth J.; Barnett-Walker, Kortnee; Monahan, Kathryn C.

    2011-01-01

    A growing body of research suggesting a negative association between basal levels of cortisol and persistent antisocial behavior has emerged. The present study examined relations between awakening cortisol levels and antisocial trajectories from ages 5 to 15 years among individuals in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development…

  9. Genetic factors, perceived chronic stress, and the free cortisol response to awakening.

    PubMed

    Wüst, S; Federenko, I; Hellhammer, D H; Kirschbaum, C

    2000-10-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that the free cortisol response to awakening can serve as a useful index of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity. This endocrine marker is rather consistent, shows good intraindividual stability across time and appears to be able to uncover subtle changes in HPA regulation. The present twin study investigated genetic factors as sources of the interindividual variation of the cortisol awakening response. Furthermore, the relationship between psychological variables and morning cortisol levels was studied. On two consecutive days saliva samples were collected 0, 30, 45 and 60 minutes after awakening in 52 monozygotic and 52 dizygotic twin pairs. Moreover, samples were obtained at 0800, 1100, 1500 and 2000 h. ('short day-time profile'). Additionally, the participants filled out questionnaires assessing chronic stress load, self-esteem and self-efficacy.Heritability estimates of h(2)=0.40 for the mean increase and of h(2)=0.48 for the area under the response curve indicate a significant impact of genetic factors on cortisol levels after awakening. However, no genetic influence on the short day-time profile could be observed. Furthermore, several aspects of perceived chronic stress, namely 'worries', 'social stress' and 'lack of social recognition' were significantly associated with the awakening cortisol response. The evidence for a medium-sized, yet distinct genetic influence on cortisol levels after awakening is discussed with regard to a potential clinical relevance of genetic determinants of HPA (re)activity. In line with several recent studies, the present findings further support the view that the cortisol awakening responses is consistently enhanced under chronic stress conditions.

  10. Episodic stress associated with writing a graduation thesis and free cortisol secretion after awakening.

    PubMed

    Izawa, Shuhei; Sugaya, Nagisa; Ogawa, Namiko; Nagano, Yuichiro; Nakano, Masako; Nakase, Emiko; Shirotsuki, Kentaro; Yamada, Kosuke Chris; Machida, Kazuhiko; Kodama, Masahisa; Nomura, Shinobu

    2007-05-01

    Cortisol secretion after awakening, an index of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, appears to be related to psychosocial stressors, or to symptoms caused by psychosocial stressors. The relationship between the quality, duration, and magnitude of psychosocial factors and cortisol secretion is however, unclear. Therefore, the effect of episodic stress associated with writing a graduation thesis on cortisol secretion after awakening was investigated. Saliva samples were collected from 10 undergraduate students at awakening, and 30, 45, and 60 min after awakening 1 month, 2 weeks, and a few days before the thesis submission and 1 week after the submission. They also completed the Short form of Profile of Moods Scale (POMS-S) on the night before each sampling. Results indicated that cortisol levels were higher a few days before the thesis submission compared to 1 month before submission. Scores of "Fatigue" and "Tension-Anxiety" in POMS-S were also higher a few days before submission. These results suggest that episodic stress associated with writing a graduation thesis caused an increase in cortisol levels after awakening.

  11. Relationship between the cortisol awakening response and other features of the diurnal cortisol rhythm: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Golden, Sherita Hill; Sánchez, Brisa N; Wu, Meihua; Champaneri, Shivam; Diez Roux, Ana V; Seeman, Teresa; Wand, Gary S

    2013-11-01

    Cumulative cortisol burden is known to influence neuropsychiatric and metabolic disorders. To better understand the relationship between daily cortisol exposure and measures of the diurnal circadian cortisol rhythm, we examined the cross-sectional association of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) with wake-up cortisol, bedtime cortisol, diurnal slope, and total cortisol area under the curve (AUC). Up to 18 salivary cortisol samples were collected over 3 days from 935 White, Hispanic, and Black individuals (mean age 65 ± 9.8 years) in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Outcome measures included awakening cortisol, CAR (awakening to 30 min post-awakening), early decline (30 min to 2h post-awakening), late decline (2h post-awakening to bedtime), and the corresponding AUCs. Total cortisol AUC was a summary measure of cumulative cortisol exposure. Higher CAR was associated with significantly lower wake-up cortisol (β=-0.56; 95% CI: -0.59 to -0.53) and a higher early decline AUC (β=0.38; 95% CI: 0.34-0.42) but was not associated with total cortisol AUC (β=0.04; 95% CI: -0.01 to 0.09), or other diurnal cortisol curve components following multivariable adjustment. Total cortisol AUC was significantly and positively associated with wake-up cortisol (β=0.36; 95% CI: 0.32-0.40), bedtime cortisol (β=0.61; 95% CI: 0.58-0.64), and other AUC measures, following multivariable adjustment. Associations were similar by sex, race/ethnicity, and age categories. We conclude that bedtime cortisol showed the strongest correlation with total cortisol AUC, suggesting it may be a marker of daily cortisol exposure.

  12. The relationship between the cortisol awakening response, mood states, and performance.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Miguel M; Bocanegra, Olga L; Teixeira, Renata R; Tavares, Marcelo; Soares, Silvio S; Espindola, Foued S

    2013-05-01

    This study examined the variation in the diurnal profile of cortisol, with an emphasis on the cortisol awakening response (CAR), in relation to mood states and performance during a professional swimming contest. Eleven athletes were examined during 2 consecutive days of competition and during a recreated event 2 weeks later that was matched to the time of the day and day of the week of the competition. On each day, salivary cortisol was determined upon awakening (07:00 hours); 30 and 60 minutes post-awakening; immediately before warming up for competition (16:00 hours); and 5 minutes (18:20 hours), 20 minutes (18:40 hours), and 40 minutes (19:00 hours) after competition. Psychometric instruments included the Profile of Mood States and self-reports of performance. Cortisol awakening responses did not differ between days of competition and control and were not related to performance on any day. However, a difference was observed in the concentration of cortisol before and after the contest between the competition and control days. Higher levels of cortisol before competition were associated with feelings of tension, anxiety, and hostility. The perceived demands of the day ahead might not produce the same magnitude of variation in the CAR in well-trained men. Explanations for this probably include better coping mechanisms and responses to the phase and time of competition.

  13. Post awakening salivary cortisol secretion and trait well-being: The importance of sample timing accuracy.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Nina; Thorn, Lisa; Hucklebridge, Frank; Evans, Phil; Clow, Angela

    2015-08-01

    Indices of post awakening cortisol secretion (PACS), include the rise in cortisol (cortisol awakening response: CAR) and overall cortisol concentrations (e.g., area under the curve with reference to ground: AUCg) in the first 30-45 min. Both are commonly investigated in relation to psychosocial variables. Although sampling within the domestic setting is ecologically valid, participant non-adherence to the required timing protocol results in erroneous measurement of PACS and this may explain discrepancies in the literature linking these measures to trait well-being (TWB). We have previously shown that delays of little over 5 min (between awakening and the start of sampling) to result in erroneous CAR estimates. In this study, we report for the first time on the negative impact of sample timing inaccuracy (verified by electronic-monitoring) on the efficacy to detect significant relationships between PACS and TWB when measured in the domestic setting. Healthy females (N=49, 20.5±2.8 years) selected for differences in TWB collected saliva samples (S1-4) on 4 days at 0, 15, 30, 45 min post awakening, to determine PACS. Adherence to the sampling protocol was objectively monitored using a combination of electronic estimates of awakening (actigraphy) and sampling times (track caps). Relationships between PACS and TWB were found to depend on sample timing accuracy. Lower TWB was associated with higher post awakening cortisol AUCg in proportion to the mean sample timing accuracy (p<.005). There was no association between TWB and the CAR even taking into account sample timing accuracy. These results highlight the importance of careful electronic monitoring of participant adherence for measurement of PACS in the domestic setting. Mean sample timing inaccuracy, mainly associated with delays of >5 min between awakening and collection of sample 1 (median=8 min delay), negatively impacts on the sensitivity of analysis to detect associations between PACS and TWB.

  14. Writing about life goals: effects on rumination, mood and the cortisol awakening response.

    PubMed

    Teismann, Tobias; Het, Serkan; Grillenberger, Matthias; Willutzki, Ulrike; Wolf, Oliver T

    2014-11-01

    Rumination is a vulnerability factor for the onset and maintenance of emotional distress. This study examined whether writing about life goals is associated with a decrease in ruminative thinking and a reduced cortisol awakening response. 68 healthy participants either wrote about their personal life goals or a control topic. Writing about life goals was associated with a modest decrease in ruminative thinking and a reduced cortisol awakening response at the post-intervention assessment. Results provide initial evidence that writing about life goals can be a helpful aid in decreasing rumination and physiological stress reactivity.

  15. Personality dimensions harm avoidance and self-directedness predict the cortisol awakening response in military men.

    PubMed

    Rademaker, Arthur R; Kleber, Rolf J; Geuze, Elbert; Vermetten, Eric

    2009-07-01

    To account for individual differences in vulnerability for stress-related disorders, studies have examined the relationship between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and personality. The present study examined the relationship between the free fraction of cortisol in saliva after awakening and personality as measured with Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory [Cloninger, C.R., Przybeck, T.R., Svrakic, D.M., Wetzel, R.D., 1994. The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI): A Guide to its Development and Use. Washington University, Center for Psychobiology of Personality, St. Louis, MO] in 107 healthy male soldiers. Harm avoidance explained 9% of variance in cortisol levels after awakening (AUCG), and harm avoidance and self-directedness predicted 10% of variance in mean cortisol increase. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) was lower in participants with low scores on harm avoidance, and mean cortisol increase after awakening was higher in soldiers high on self-directedness and harm avoidance. These results show that the CAR is related to personality and that it can be used to examine individual differences in HPA (re)activity.

  16. MATERNAL SELF-REPORTED DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS AND MATERNAL CORTISOL LEVELS INTERACT TO PREDICT INFANT CORTISOL LEVELS.

    PubMed

    Khoury, Jennifer E; Gonzalez, Andrea; Levitan, Robert; Masellis, Mario; Basile, Vincenzo; Atkinson, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Three basic findings have emerged from research on maternal depressive symptoms and offspring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal functioning: (a) Mothers' depressive symptoms are positively associated with their offsprings' cortisol stress response, (b) numerous individual and interpersonal maternal characteristics moderate this association, and (c) maternal and infant cortisol levels are highly correlated. In combination, these findings have suggested that maternal cortisol levels may moderate the relation between maternal depressive symptoms and infant cortisol responsivity; the current study assessed this hypothesis. Participants were 297 mother-infant dyads who were recruited from the community. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed via self-report. Dyads participated in two differentially stressful infant challenges when infants were 16 and 17 months old. Mother and infant salivary cortisol was collected before and after challenges. Results indicate that maternal cortisol levels moderated associations between maternal depressive symptoms and infant cortisol levels across both challenges. Infants showed higher cortisol levels if their mothers had both higher depressive symptoms and higher cortisol levels, as compared to infants of mothers with higher depressive symptoms and lower cortisol, and to infants of mothers with lower depressive symptoms and either higher or lower cortisol levels. We discuss findings in relation to environmental and biological factors that may contribute to the intergenerational transmission of depressive symptoms.

  17. The Confluence of Adverse Early Experience and Puberty on the Cortisol Awakening Response

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quevedo, Karina; Johnson, Anna E.; Loman, Michelle L.; LaFavor, Theresa L.; Gunnar, Megan

    2012-01-01

    Associations between early deprivation/neglect in the form of institutional care with the cortisol awakening response (CAR) were examined as a function of pubertal status among 12- and 13-year-old postinstitutionalized youth. CARs indexed hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical reactivity. Postinstitutionalized youth were compared to youth adopted…

  18. Cortisol Awakening Response and Internalizing Symptoms across Childhood: Exploring the Role of Age and Externalizing Symptoms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGinnis, Ellen W.; Lopez-Duran, Nestor; Martinez-Torteya, Cecilia; Abelson, James L.; Muzik, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Efforts to identify biological correlates of internalizing symptoms in childhood have involved examinations of HPA-axis functioning, namely Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). However, research has not assessed the relationship between CAR and internalizing problems among children younger than 8 years. Findings with older samples have been somewhat…

  19. Dissecting the impact of sleep and stress on the cortisol awakening response in young adults.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Ivan; Lopez-Duran, Nestor

    2014-02-01

    Cortisol rises precipitously upon awakening, in what has been called the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Atypical CARs have been linked to a number of negative health outcomes. Yet, our understanding of the possible mechanisms creating these associations remains unclear. Both stress and sleep can influence CAR, and may potentially explain its links to health. However, these factors also impact each other, and their influence on CAR has rarely been studied simultaneously. In order to differentiate their effects, this study examined the impact of daily life hassles, anticipatory stress, and subjectively reported sleep on CAR among 58 college students. Self-reported stress and sleep, as well as salivary cortisol (collected during the first hour after awakening) were obtained across two consecutive days. Total sleep time predicted CAR magnitude, but daily hassles and anticipatory stress did not after accounting for the effect of sleep. Lower total sleep time was associated with lower awakening cortisol and greater CAR. These results provide further evidence for the impact of sleep insufficiency on CAR, and suggest future efforts to use CAR as a stress biomarker should take the impact of sleep into consideration.

  20. Poverty and Awakening Cortisol in Adolescence: The Importance of Timing in Early Life.

    PubMed

    McFarland, Michael J; Hayward, Mark D

    2014-03-01

    The deleterious effects of poverty on mental and physical health are routinely argued to operate, at least in part, via dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, although empirical examinations connecting poverty with HPA axis functioning are rare. Research on the effects of timing of poverty is a particularly neglected aspect of this relationship. This study uses 15 years of prospective data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to assess how exposure to poverty during infancy, childhood, and adolescence is related to awakening cortisol (n = 826), a marker of HPA axis functioning. Among female participants, poverty exposure in infancy and adolescence, but not childhood, was negatively associated with awakening cortisol. Poverty exposure was unrelated to cortisol among male participants. The importance of timing and gender differences are discussed along with directions for future research.

  1. The Cortisol Awakening Response and Resilience in Elite Swimmers.

    PubMed

    Meggs, J; Golby, J; Mallett, C J; Gucciardi, D F; Polman, R C J

    2016-02-01

    The sports environment is stress-eliciting in that it encapsulates perceived uncontrollability, unpredictability and requires ego-involvement. The HPA axis has been shown (indicated by cortisol release) to respond to anticipated sports competition up to a week prior to the event. Research also alludes to the importance of individual differences, such as optimism and trait perfectionism, in moderating the impact of cortisol upon performance. In total, 41 (male n=27) national (n=38) and international (n=3) swimmers were recruited from northeast England and Australia. Swimmers completed a measure of resilience and also provided buccal saliva swabs, from which total cortisol release prior to and during the event was calculated. Findings revealed that resilience significantly predicted performance and the influence of AUC (cortisol release) upon performance was moderated by resilience. These findings suggest that resilience can influence athletic performance either directly or indirectly, through appraisal (i. e., interpretation of the stressor to be facilitative and non-threatening).

  2. Lack of institutional support entails disruption in cortisol awakening response in caregivers of people with high-functioning autism.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Robledillo, Nicolás; González-Bono, Esperanza; Moya-Albiol, Luis

    2014-12-01

    Several studies have found disruptions in cortisol awakening response in informal caregivers. Institutional support may modulate these effects, and this study analyses how the health of caregivers is affected when institutional support is provided for families of people with high-functioning autism. Self-reported health, depression and cortisol awakening response were analysed in three groups: supported caregivers, non-supported caregivers and non-caregivers. Non-supported caregivers presented higher somatic symptoms and lower cortisol awakening response than the supported caregiver and non-caregiver groups. A high number of somatic symptoms and low functionality of offspring were related to a lower cortisol awakening response only in the non-supported caregiver group. These findings demonstrate the importance of institutional support for improving the health of caregivers.

  3. Acculturation, Childhood Trauma and the Cortisol Awakening Response in Mexican American Adults

    PubMed Central

    Mangold, Deborah; Wand, Gary; Javors, Martin; Mintz, James

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to chronic and traumatic stress has been associated with the dysregulation of crucial stress response systems. Acculturation has been associated with unique forms of chronic psychosocial stress. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of exposure to early traumatic stress and acculturation on dysregulation of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in Mexican-American adults. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at awakening and 30, 45, and 60 minutes thereafter, on two consecutive weekdays from 59, healthy Mexican American adult males (26) and females (33), ages 18-38 years. Participants were assessed for level of acculturation and exposure to early trauma. Data were analyzed using a mixed effects regression model with repeated measures at four time points. Mixed effects regression results indicated a significant Early Trauma x Time interaction (p=.0029) and a significant Acculturation x Time interaction (p=.0015), after controlling for age and sex. Subsequent analyses of the interaction of Trauma x Acculturation x Time showed that more than minimal exposure to either risk factor was associated with attenuation of the awakening cortisol response (p=.0002). Higher levels of acculturation with greater Anglo-orientation were associated with attenuation of the CAR in Mexican-American adults. Both moderate and higher levels of exposure to early trauma were associated with an attenuated CAR. However, greater exposure to both risk factors was only incrementally worse than exposure to either one. PMID:20600049

  4. Acculturation, childhood trauma and the cortisol awakening response in Mexican-American adults.

    PubMed

    Mangold, Deborah; Wand, Gary; Javors, Martin; Mintz, James

    2010-09-01

    Exposure to chronic and traumatic stress has been associated with the dysregulation of crucial stress response systems. Acculturation has been associated with unique forms of chronic psychosocial stress. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of exposure to early traumatic stress and acculturation on dysregulation of the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in Mexican-American adults. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at awakening and 30, 45, and 60 min thereafter, on two consecutive weekdays from 59 healthy Mexican-American adult males (26) and females (33), ages 18-38 years. Participants were assessed for level of acculturation and exposure to early trauma. Data were analyzed using a mixed effects regression model with repeated measures at four time points. Mixed effects regression results indicated a significant Early Trauma x Time interaction (p=.0029) and a significant Acculturation x Time interaction (p=.0015), after controlling for age and sex. Subsequent analyses of the interaction of Trauma x Acculturation x Time showed that more than minimal exposure to either risk factor was associated with attenuation of the awakening cortisol response (p=.0002). Higher levels of acculturation with greater Anglo-orientation were associated with attenuation of the CAR in Mexican-American adults. Both moderate and higher levels of exposure to early trauma were associated with an attenuated CAR. However, greater exposure to both risk factors was only incrementally worse than exposure to either one.

  5. Cortisol Awakening Response and Acute Stress Reactivity in First Nations People

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Maximus; Leicht, Anthony; Slatcher, Angela; Kraeuter, Ann Katrin; Ketheesan, Sarangan; Larkins, Sarah; Sarnyai, Zoltán

    2017-01-01

    First Nations people globally have a higher incidence of mental disorders and non-communicable diseases. These health inequalities are partially attributed to a complex network of social and environmental factors which likely converge on chronic psychosocial stress. We hypothesized that alterations in stress processing and the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis might underlie health disparities in First Nations people. We assessed the cortisol awakening response and the dynamic response to a laboratory induced psychosocial stress of young Indigenous tertiary students (n = 11, mean age 23.82 years) and non-Indigenous students (n = 11) matched for age and gender. Indigenous participants had a blunted cortisol awakening response (27.40 (SD 35.00) vs. 95.24 (SD 55.23), p = 0.002), which was differentially associated with chronic experience of stress in Indigenous (r = −0.641, p = 0.046) and non-Indigenous (r = 0.652, p = 0.03) participants. The cortisol response to the laboratory induced psychosocial stress did not differ between groups. Self-reported racial discrimination was strongly associated with flattened cortisol response to stress (r = −0676, p = 0.022) and with heart rate variability (r = 0.654, p = 0.040). Our findings provide insight into potential biological factors underlying health discrepancies in ethnic minority groups. PMID:28139727

  6. Absence of a normal cortisol awakening response (CAR) in adolescent males with Asperger syndrome (AS).

    PubMed

    Brosnan, Mark; Turner-Cobb, Julie; Munro-Naan, Zoe; Jessop, David

    2009-08-01

    In addition to abnormalities in social and communication development, a 'need for sameness' and 'resistance to change' are features of autistic spectrum disorders first identified by Kanner in 1943. Our ability to react to change is modulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a feature of which is a dramatic increase in cortisol upon waking, the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). This study examined whether the CAR was evident in 20 adolescent males with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and 18 age-matched typically developing (TD) controls (aged 11-16). Whilst a significant CAR was evidenced in the TD control group, this was not the case for those with AS. A normal diurnal decrease in cortisol, however, was evident in both groups. The implication that individuals with AS may have an impaired response to change in their environment due to a refractory HPA axis is discussed.

  7. High cortisol awakening response is associated with impaired error monitoring and decreased post-error adjustment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Duan, Hongxia; Qin, Shaozheng; Yuan, Yiran; Buchanan, Tony W; Zhang, Kan; Wu, Jianhui

    2015-01-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR), a rapid increase in cortisol levels following morning awakening, is an important aspect of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis activity. Alterations in the CAR have been linked to a variety of mental disorders and cognitive function. However, little is known regarding the relationship between the CAR and error processing, a phenomenon that is vital for cognitive control and behavioral adaptation. Using high-temporal resolution measures of event-related potentials (ERPs) combined with behavioral assessment of error processing, we investigated whether and how the CAR is associated with two key components of error processing: error detection and subsequent behavioral adjustment. Sixty university students performed a Go/No-go task while their ERPs were recorded. Saliva samples were collected at 0, 15, 30 and 60 min after awakening on the two consecutive days following ERP data collection. The results showed that a higher CAR was associated with slowed latency of the error-related negativity (ERN) and a higher post-error miss rate. The CAR was not associated with other behavioral measures such as the false alarm rate and the post-correct miss rate. These findings suggest that high CAR is a biological factor linked to impairments of multiple steps of error processing in healthy populations, specifically, the automatic detection of error and post-error behavioral adjustment. A common underlying neural mechanism of physiological and cognitive control may be crucial for engaging in both CAR and error processing.

  8. Prospective prediction of major depressive disorder from cortisol awakening responses in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Adam, Emma K; Doane, Leah D; Zinbarg, Richard E; Mineka, Susan; Craske, Michelle G; Griffith, James W

    2010-07-01

    Levels of the stress-sensitive hormone cortisol increase dramatically in the first 30-40min after waking, an effect known as the cortisol awakening response (CAR). There is considerable cross-sectional evidence that psychosocial stress is associated with an increased CAR, and the CAR has been found to be altered in the presence of stress-related diseases, including major depressive disorder (MDD). To date, no prospective longitudinal studies have examined whether individual differences in the CAR serve as a premorbid risk factor for MDD. In a sample of 230 late adolescents, clinical diagnoses of MDD were predicted from the CAR as well as other indicators of basal cortisol functioning gathered 1 year earlier, including: waking cortisol levels, bedtime cortisol levels, the size of the CAR, average cortisol, and the slope of the diurnal cortisol rhythm across the waking day. Age and gender, health and health behaviors, baseline neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events and past episodes of mood and anxiety disorders were included as covariates, to help ensure effects are attributable to the CAR rather than related variables. A higher baseline CAR was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing MDD by follow-up, even when excluding individuals with baseline MDD. No other baseline cortisol measures were significant prospective predictors of MDD. In summary, the CAR is a significant prospective risk factor for the development of MDD in young adults, providing some support for the possibility that a heightened CAR may play a role in the etiology of major depressive disorder.

  9. Cortisol awakening response and cognitive performance in hypertensive and normotensive older people.

    PubMed

    Pulopulos, Matias M; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Puig-Perez, Sara; Salvador, Alicia

    2016-07-01

    Healthy older people with a cortisol awakening response (CAR) of decreased magnitude show worse frontal cortex-related cognitive performance. Systemic hypertension has been related to a CAR of decreased magnitude. Additionally, worse executive function and processing speed have been observed in older people with systemic hypertension. This is the first study to examine the relationship between the CAR (measured with six saliva samples at home on two consecutive weekdays) and cognitive performance, in both hypertensive (n=26) and normotensive (n=28) older people (from 56 to 78years old). Hypertensive participants showed lower morning cortisol secretion, and they also woke up earlier. No differences in CAR were observed. A CAR of decreased magnitude was related to worse executive function in both hypertensive and normotensive participants, but to slower processing speed only in normotensive participants. Being treated with antihypertensive for a longer period of time was related to a CAR of increased magnitude and better performance on executive function. Our findings suggest that earlier awakening time in hypertensive older people might underlie the lower overall morning cortisol secretion observed in previous studies. Additionally, this study confirms that a dysregulation of the CAR is related to worse executive function, and it extends this association to hypertensive older people. Finally, it is worth noting that hypertension may moderate the relationship between CAR and processing speed.

  10. IL-6 and TNF-α in unmedicated adults with ADHD: Relationship to cortisol awakening response.

    PubMed

    Corominas-Roso, M; Armario, A; Palomar, G; Corrales, M; Carrasco, J; Richarte, V; Ferrer, R; Casas, M; Ramos-Quiroga, J A

    2017-05-01

    There is preliminary evidence that the immune system's cytokines may have impact on ADHD in children. Nevertheless, studies exploring the possible role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in adults with ADHD are lacking. This study aimed to assess differences in serum IL-6 and TNF-α between patients and controls and their possible relationship to resting cortisol. 108 adults with ADHD (DSM-IV), 44 inattentive and 64 combined, age ranging between 18 and 55 years, and 27 healthy controls were included. Major psychiatric disorders and organic comorbidities were excluded. Serum samples for IL-6 and TNF-α and salivary samples to assess cortisol awakening response were collected on the same day. Analysis of variance was applied to study differences in IL-6 and TNF-α between groups. Pearson correlations were used to study associations between IL-6, TNF-α, and CAR. There were no significant differences in serum IL-6 or TNF-α levels between patients and controls or between combined and inattentive patients. Negative associations between IL-6 (r=-0.386, p=0.020), TNF-α (r=-0.372, p=0.023) and cortisol awakening response were found in the inattentive subtype, whereas no association was seen in the combined subtype. A negative correlation between IL-6 and cortisol was also present in the control group (r=-0.44, 0.030). The peripheral pro-inflammatory markers, IL-6 and TNF-α, do not appear to be primarily involved in ADHD in adults, although the role of other inflammatory markers cannot be ruled out. The differences regarding the association between IL-6 and TNF-α and morning cortisol response suggest possible underlying neurobiological differences between the inattentive or combined patients that merit further studies.

  11. Cortisol awakening response and diurnal cortisol among children at elevated risk for schizophrenia: Relationship to psychosocial stress and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Cullen, Alexis E.; Zunszain, Patricia A.; Dickson, Hannah; Roberts, Ruth E.; Fisher, Helen L.; Pariante, Carmine M.; Laurens, Kristin R.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, as indexed by elevated diurnal cortisol levels and/or a blunted cortisol awakening response (CAR), has been observed among patients with first episode psychosis and associated with neurocognitive deficits in this population. However, the extent to which these features precede illness onset is unclear. The current study aimed to determine whether children who are at putatively elevated risk for psychosis because they present multiple antecedents of schizophrenia (ASz), and high-risk children with a family history of illness (FHx), are characterized by abnormal cortisol levels when compared with their typically developing (TD) peers. A further aim was to investigate the extent to which cortisol levels are associated with psychosocial stress and neurocognitive function. Thirty-three ASz children, 22 FHx children, and 40 TD children were identified at age 9–12 years using a novel community-based screening procedure or as relatives of individuals with schizophrenia. All participants were antipsychotic-naive and not currently seeking treatment for their symptoms. At age 11–14 years, participants provided salivary cortisol samples and completed psychosocial stress measures and tests of memory and executive function. Results indicated that FHx children, but not ASz children, were characterized by a blunted CAR relative to their TD peers (effect size = −0.73, p = 0.01) that was not explained by psychosocial stress exposure or by distress relating to these experiences. Neither FHx nor ASz children were characterized by elevated diurnal cortisol. Among both FHx and ASz children, more pronounced HPA axis function abnormalities (i.e., higher diurnal cortisol levels and greater blunting of the CAR) were associated with poorer performance on tests of verbal memory and executive function. These findings support the notion that at least some HPA axis abnormalities described in psychosis precede illness

  12. Cortisol awakening response and diurnal cortisol among children at elevated risk for schizophrenia: relationship to psychosocial stress and cognition.

    PubMed

    Cullen, Alexis E; Zunszain, Patricia A; Dickson, Hannah; Roberts, Ruth E; Fisher, Helen L; Pariante, Carmine M; Laurens, Kristin R

    2014-08-01

    Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, as indexed by elevated diurnal cortisol levels and/or a blunted cortisol awakening response (CAR), has been observed among patients with first episode psychosis and associated with neurocognitive deficits in this population. However, the extent to which these features precede illness onset is unclear. The current study aimed to determine whether children who are at putatively elevated risk for psychosis because they present multiple antecedents of schizophrenia (ASz), and high-risk children with a family history of illness (FHx), are characterized by abnormal cortisol levels when compared with their typically developing (TD) peers. A further aim was to investigate the extent to which cortisol levels are associated with psychosocial stress and neurocognitive function. Thirty-three ASz children, 22 FHx children, and 40 TD children were identified at age 9-12 years using a novel community-based screening procedure or as relatives of individuals with schizophrenia. All participants were antipsychotic-naive and not currently seeking treatment for their symptoms. At age 11-14 years, participants provided salivary cortisol samples and completed psychosocial stress measures and tests of memory and executive function. Results indicated that FHx children, but not ASz children, were characterized by a blunted CAR relative to their TD peers (effect size=-0.73, p=0.01) that was not explained by psychosocial stress exposure or by distress relating to these experiences. Neither FHx nor ASz children were characterized by elevated diurnal cortisol. Among both FHx and ASz children, more pronounced HPA axis function abnormalities (i.e., higher diurnal cortisol levels and greater blunting of the CAR) were associated with poorer performance on tests of verbal memory and executive function. These findings support the notion that at least some HPA axis abnormalities described in psychosis precede illness onset, rather than

  13. Maternal stress-associated cortisol stimulation may protect embryos from cortisol excess in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Faught, Erin; Best, Carol; Vijayan, Mathilakath M.

    2016-01-01

    Abnormal embryo cortisol level causes developmental defects and poor survival in zebrafish (Danio rerio). However, no study has demonstrated that maternal stress leads to higher embryo cortisol content in zebrafish. We tested the hypothesis that maternal stress-associated elevation in cortisol levels increases embryo cortisol content in this asynchronous breeder. Zebrafish mothers were fed cortisol-spiked food for 5 days, to mimic maternal stress, followed by daily breeding for 10 days to monitor temporal embryo cortisol content. Cortisol treatment increased mean embryo yield, but the daily fecundity was variable among the groups. Embryo cortisol content was variable in both groups over a 10-day period. A transient elevation in cortisol levels was observed in the embryos from cortisol-fed mothers only on day 3, but not on subsequent days. We tested whether excess cortisol stimulates 11βHSD2 expression in ovarian follicles as a means to regulate embryo cortisol deposition. Cortisol treatment in vitro increased 11β HSD2 levels sevenfold, and this expression was regulated by actinomycin D and cycloheximide suggesting tight regulation of cortisol levels in the ovarian follicles. We hypothesize that cortisol-induced upregulation of 11βHSD2 activity in the ovarian follicles is a mechanism restricting excess cortisol incorporation into the eggs during maternal stress. PMID:26998341

  14. Neuroticism, Acculturation and the Cortisol Awakening Response in Mexican American Adults

    PubMed Central

    Mangold, Deborah; Mintz, Jim; Javors, Martin; Marino, Elise

    2011-01-01

    Neuroticism is associated with greater susceptibility to the adverse effects of stress and greater exposure to the stressors associated with acculturation in U.S. born Mexican Americans. Neuroticism and acculturation have been associated with injury to crucial stress response systems and are known risk factors for certain mood and anxiety disorders. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of neuroticism, and acculturation on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in healthy Mexican-American adults. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at awakening and 30, 45, and 60 minutes thereafter, on two consecutive weekdays from 59 healthy Mexican American adult males (26) and females (33), ages 18 to 38 years. Participants were assessed for level of neuroticism and acculturation. Data were analyzed using a mixed effects regression model with repeated measures at four time points. Results showed a significant Neuroticism × Acculturation × Time interaction. The CAR was virtually eliminated in highly acculturated Mexican Americans with greater Anglo orientation and high neuroticism compared with less acculturated Mexican Americans with greater Mexican orientation and lower neuroticism. Findings suggest that some Mexican Americans with high levels of neuroticism may be particularly susceptible to certain challenges and stressors associated with acculturation leading over time to the development of allostatic load, desensitization of the Hypothalamic CRF system and attenuation of the CAR. PMID:21983226

  15. Neuroticism, acculturation and the cortisol awakening response in Mexican American adults.

    PubMed

    Mangold, Deborah; Mintz, Jim; Javors, Martin; Marino, Elise

    2012-01-01

    Neuroticism is associated with greater susceptibility to the adverse effects of stress and greater exposure to the stressors associated with acculturation in U.S. born Mexican Americans. Neuroticism and acculturation have been associated with injury to crucial stress response systems and are known risk factors for certain mood and anxiety disorders. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of neuroticism, and acculturation on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in healthy Mexican-American adults. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at awakening and 30, 45, and 60 min thereafter, on two consecutive weekdays from 59 healthy Mexican American adult males (26) and females (33), ages 18 to 38 years. Participants were assessed for level of neuroticism and acculturation. Data were analyzed using a mixed effects regression model with repeated measures at four time points. Results showed a significant Neuroticism×Acculturation×Time interaction. The CAR was virtually eliminated in highly acculturated Mexican Americans with greater Anglo orientation and high neuroticism compared with less acculturated Mexican Americans with greater Mexican orientation and lower neuroticism. Findings suggest that some Mexican Americans with high levels of neuroticism may be particularly susceptible to certain challenges and stressors associated with acculturation leading over time to the development of allostatic load, desensitization of the Hypothalamic CRF system and attenuation of the CAR.

  16. Daily Work Stress and Awakening Cortisol in Mothers of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Jen D.; Mailick, Marsha R.; Greenberg, Jan S.; Hong, Jinkuk; Coe, Christopher L.

    2014-01-01

    The effect of daily work stress on the next morning’s awakening cortisol level was determined in a sample of 124 mothers (M age = 49.89, SD= 6.33) of adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities and compared to 115 mothers (M age = 46.19, SD = 7.08) of individuals without disabilities. Mothers participated in 8 days of diary telephone interviews and provided saliva samples. Multilevel models revealed that mothers of individuals with developmental disabilities had lower awakening cortisol levels than comparison mothers. Work stress interacted with parental status to predict the awakening cortisol level on the following morning. When mothers of individuals with developmental disabilities experienced a work stressor, their awakening cortisol level was significantly higher on the subsequent morning, but for comparison mothers, work stressors were not significantly associated with cortisol level. Findings extend understanding of the differential impacts of specific types of stressors on physiological functioning of mothers of individuals with and without developmental disabilities. PMID:25313265

  17. Chronic stress exposure decreases the cortisol awakening response in healthy young men.

    PubMed

    Duan, Hongxia; Yuan, Yiran; Zhang, Liang; Qin, Shaozheng; Zhang, Kan; Buchanan, Tony W; Wu, Jianhui

    2013-11-01

    Academic examination is a major stressor for students in China. Investigation of stress-sensitive endocrine responses to major examination stress serves as a good model of naturalistic chronic psychological stress in an otherwise healthy population. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is an endocrine marker of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis in response to stress. However, it remains unknown how chronic examination stress impacts the CAR in a young healthy population To exclude the influence of sex effects on hormone level, the CAR and psychological stress responses were assessed on two consecutive workdays in 42 male participants during their preparations for the Chinese National Postgraduate Entrance Exam (NPEE) and 21 non-exam, age-matched male comparisons. On each day, four saliva samples were collected immediately after awakening, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes after awakening. The waking level (S1), the increase within 30 minutes after awakening (R30), the area under the curve with respect to ground (AUCg), and the area under the curve with respect to increase (AUCi) were used to quantify the CAR. Psychological stress and anxiety were assessed by the Perceived Stress Scale and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, respectively. Male participants in the exam group had greater perceived stress and anxiety scores relatibe to the non-exam group. Both R30 and AUCi in the exam group were significantly lower than the comparison group and this effect was most pronounced for participants with high levels of perceived stress in the exam group. Perceived stress and anxiety levels were negatively correlated with both R30 and AUCi. Chronic examination stress can lead to the decrease of CAR in healthy young men, possibly due to reduced HPA axis activity under long-term sustained stress.

  18. The cortisol awakening response is associated with performance of a serial sequence reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Hodyl, Nicolette A; Schneider, Luke; Vallence, Ann-Maree; Clow, Angela; Ridding, Michael C; Pitcher, Julia B

    2016-02-01

    There is emerging evidence of a relationship between the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The aim of this study was to determine whether the CAR is associated with acquisition, retention and overnight consolidation or improvement of a serial sequence reaction time task. Salivary samples were collected at 0, 15, 30 and 45 min after awakening in 39 healthy adults on 2 consecutive days. The serial sequence reaction time task was repeated each afternoon. Participants completed the perceived stress scale and provided salivary samples prior to testing for cortisol assessment. While the magnitude of the CAR (Z score) was not associated with either baseline performance or the timed improvement during task acquisition of the serial sequence task, a positive correlation was observed with reaction times during the stable performance phase on day 1 (r=0.373, p=0.019). Residuals derived from the relationship between baseline and stable phase reaction times on day 1 were used as a surrogate for the degree of learning: these residuals were also correlated with the CAR mean increase on day 1 (r=0.357, p=0.048). Task performance on day 2 was not associated with the CAR obtained on this same day. No association was observed between the perceived stress score, cortisol at testing or task performance. These data indicate that a smaller CAR in healthy adults is associated with a greater degree of learning and faster performance of a serial sequence reaction time task. These results support recognition of the CAR as an important factor contributing to cognitive performance throughout the day.

  19. Adolescents' cortisol responses to awakening and social stress; effects of gender, menstrual phase and oral contraceptives. The TRAILS study.

    PubMed

    Bouma, Esther M C; Riese, Harriëtte; Ormel, Johan; Verhulst, Frank C; Oldehinkel, Albertine J

    2009-07-01

    Studies on the influence of sex hormones on cortisol responses to awakening and stress have mainly been conducted in adults, while reports on adolescents are scarce. We studied the effects of gender, menstrual cycle phase and oral contraceptive (OC) use on cortisol responses in a large sample of adolescents. Data come from TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey), a prospective population study of Dutch adolescents. This study uses data of 644 adolescents (age 15-17 years, 54.7% boys) who participated in a laboratory session including a performance-related social stress task (public speaking and mental arithmetic). Free cortisol levels were assessed by multiple saliva samples, both after awakening and during the laboratory session. No significant effects of gender and menstrual phase on cortisol responses to awakening were found, while girls using OC displayed a slightly blunted response (F(1, 244)=5.30, p=.02). Cortisol responses to social stress were different for boys and free-cycling girls (F(3, 494)=9.73, p<.001), and OC users and free-cycling girls (F(3, 279)=15.12, p<.001). Unexpectedly, OC users showed no response at all but displayed linearly decreasing levels F(1, 279)=19.03, p<.001) of cortisol during the social stress test. We found no effect of menstrual cycle phase on cortisol responses to social stress (F(3, 157)=0.58, p=.55). The absence of a gender difference in the adolescents' cortisol awakening response found in this study is consistent with previous reports. Our results further suggest that adolescent OC users display slightly blunted cortisol responses after awakening, and that gender differences in cortisol responses to social stress during adolescence are comparable to those described for adult populations, that is, stronger responses in men than in women. Whereas previous work in adults suggested blunted stress responses in OC users compared to men and free-cycling women, adolescent OC users showed no cortisol response

  20. Frequent nightmares are associated with blunted cortisol awakening response in women.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Tamás; Salavecz, Gyöngyvér; Simor, Péter; Purebl, György; Bódizs, Róbert; Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2015-08-01

    Nightmares are relatively common sleep complaints that seem to be associated with affective distress. To date, few attempts have been made to link nightmares to the biological markers of the stress response, and the HPA response in particular. The present study examined the relationship between frequent nightmares and the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in a cross-sectional study of working women (N=188). Analysis revealed that those who reported frequent nightmares (N=13) showed a blunted CAR on a working day, compared to those who did not report nightmares. This result was independent of psychiatric symptoms, demographic variables, and lifestyle. Our preliminary findings suggest that decreased HPA reactivity might be a trait-like feature of women with frequent nightmares.

  1. Differences in Cortisol Awakening Response between Binge-Purging and Restrictive Patients with Anorexia Nervosa.

    PubMed

    Monteleone, Alessio Maria; Monteleone, Palmiero; Marciello, Francesca; Pellegrino, Francesca; Castellini, Giovanni; Maj, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Malnutrition and childhood trauma were shown to affect in opposite way the cortisol awakening response (CAR) of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). To assess the influence of binge-purging behaviour on the CAR of AN patients, we measured the CAR of restrictive AN (ANR) or binge-purging AN (ANBP) patients without history of childhood maltreatment. Seventeen ANBP women, 18 ANR women and 42 healthy women collected saliva samples at awakening and after 15, 30 and 60 min, and filled in the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2). ANR and ANBP patients exhibited a CAR significantly higher than healthy women. Moreover, the CAR of ANBP women was even higher than that of ANR women and positively correlated with the bulimia subitem scores of the EDI-2. Present findings show, for the first time, differences in the CAR between ANBP and ANR subtypes, which may suggest a possible connection between the HPA axis functioning and binge-purging. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  2. Cortisol Awakening Response in Elite Military Men: Summary Parameters, Stability Measurement, and Effect of Compliance.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Marcus K; Hernández, Lisa M; Fuller, Shiloah A; Sargent, Paul; Padilla, Genieleah A; Harris, Erica

    2016-11-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) holds promise as a clinically important marker of health status. However, CAR research is routinely challenged by its innate complexity, sensitivity to confounds, and methodological inconsistencies. In this unprecedented characterization of CAR in elite military men (N = 58), we established summary parameters, evaluated sampling stability across two consecutive days, and explored the effect of subject compliance. Average salivary cortisol concentrations increased nearly 60% within 30 minutes of waking, followed by a swift recovery to waking values at 60 minutes. Approximately one in six were classified as negative responders (i.e., <0% change from waking to 30-minute postawakening). Three summary parameters of magnitude, as well as three summary parameters of pattern, were computed. Consistent with our hypothesis, summary parameters of magnitude displayed superior stability compared with summary parameters of pattern in the total sample. As expected, compliance with target sampling times was relatively good; average deviations of self-reported morning sampling times in relation to actigraph-derived wake times across both days were within ±5 minutes, and nearly two-thirds of the sample was classified as CAR compliant across both days. Although compliance had equivocal effects on some measures of magnitude, it substantially improved the stability of summary parameters of pattern. The first of its kind, this study established the foundation for a program of CAR research in a profoundly resilient yet chronically stressed population. Building from this, our forthcoming research will evaluate demographic, biobehavioral, and clinical determinants of CAR in this unique population.

  3. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) in male children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Corbett, Blythe A; Schupp, Clayton W

    2014-04-01

    Our ability to adapt to change is fundamental. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a sharp rise in cortisol 30min after waking to help prepare an individual for ensuing stress. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulty adapting to change. Exploration of the CAR is warranted; yet, the few studies investigating it are inconclusive. The CAR was investigated in 94 pre-pubertal male children 8-to-12years of age with ASD (46) and typical development (TD, 48). Salivary samples were collected over three diurnal cycles involving two morning samples: M1: Immediately upon Waking and M2: 30-min Post Waking (M2-M1=CAR). The magnitude of the CAR was measured by independent two sample t-tests, variability was measured using Levene's Test, the sequence of the CAR was analyzed by a linear mixed-effects model and proportion of children exhibiting a CAR by chi-square test of independence. There were no significant differences on the CAR between the groups based on magnitude (t(92)=-0.14, p=0.89, d=0.04), variability (F(45,47)=1.11, p=0.72, η(2)=0.11) or the sequence over three days (F(2,88)=0.26, p=0.77, η(2)=0.01). No significant differences were shown in the proportion of children exhibiting a CAR across the groups based on child (χ(2)(1)=0.02, p=0.89) or adult criterion (χ(2)(1)=1.82, p=0.18). Despite group differences in the regulation and responsivity of cortisol, the CAR is indistinguishable between children with and without ASD. Inconsistencies across studies may be due to age, criterion used, and diagnostic distinctions.

  4. Awakening cortisol response in relation to psychosocial profiles and eating behaviors.

    PubMed

    Therrien, Fanny; Drapeau, Vicky; Lupien, Sonia J; Beaulieu, Serge; Doré, Jean; Tremblay, Angelo; Richard, Denis

    2008-01-28

    Awakening cortisol response was measured in 78 men and women, on 3 mornings within a 2-month period. Psychosocial and eating behavior variables were assessed using self-administered questionnaires on anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), depression (Beck Depression Inventory), body esteem (Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults), and eating behaviors (Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire and Eating Disorder Inventory-2). Data on food intake and appetite sensations were also collected using a buffet-type meal test, a 3-day food record and visual analog scales measured before and after a standardized breakfast meal test. In women, high anxiety, disinhibition and hunger scores, as well as poor body esteem and a high weight preoccupation, were negatively correlated to ACR. The factor that appeared to account the most for this inverse relation was emotional susceptibility to disinhibition (r=-0.61, p=0.003). The latter was also negatively associated with the satiety quotient for fullness in response to the standardized breakfast (r=-0.48, p=0.010). In men, ACR was negatively associated with flexible (r=-0.33, p=0.020) and strategic (r=-0.28, p=0.049) restraint behaviors. This study highlights a gender-dependent relationship between ACR, hence the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and eating behaviors and psychological profiles.

  5. Long-term follow-up of cortisol awakening response in patients treated for stress-related exhaustion

    PubMed Central

    Ljung, Thomas; Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Studies on hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity in stress-related exhaustion and burnout have revealed incongruent results, and few longitudinal studies on clinical populations have been performed. This study was designed to investigate differences in HPA axis activity between patients with stress-related exhaustion and healthy controls and to investigate longitudinal changes in HPA axis activity in the patient group as they entered a multimodal treatment programme. Design HPA axis activity was assessed through the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Salivary cortisol was sampled at awakening and after 15 min. Follow-up measurements were performed in the patient group after 3, 6, 12 and 18 months. Setting An outpatient clinic specialising in stress-related illness. Participants Patients with clinically diagnosed stress-related exhaustion (n=162) and healthy controls (n=79). Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary measure was CAR measured as the difference between the two salivary cortisol samples. Changes in CAR during follow-up were related to changes in symptoms of burnout, depression and anxiety. Results Patients showed similar CAR as the controls and their CAR did not change significantly during treatment. No association was found between CAR and symptom development during treatment. Conclusions The authors conclude that CAR does not seem to discriminate clinically defined patients with exhaustion from healthy controls and it appears not to change during treatment. CAR, measured as salivary cortisol, at awakening and after 15 min, is thus not a valid marker for stress-related exhaustion. PMID:22786949

  6. Maternal cortisol in late pregnancy and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal reactivity to psychosocial stress postpartum in women.

    PubMed

    Meinlschmidt, Gunther; Martin, Cyrill; Neumann, Inga D; Heinrichs, Markus

    2010-03-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity is altered postpartum and has been associated with several puerperal disorders. However, little is known about the association of maternal HPA activity during pregnancy with maternal HPA responsiveness to stress after parturition. Within a longitudinal study with an experimental component, we assessed in 22 women the salivary cortisol awakening response (CAR) at the 36th week of gestation and 6 weeks postpartum, as well as pituitary-adrenal and emotional responses to a psychosocial laboratory stressor at 8 weeks postpartum. CAR in late pregnancy negatively predicted maternal adrenocorticotropin (ACTH; ss = - 0.60; P = 0.003), plasma cortisol (ss = - 0.69, P < 0.001), and salivary cortisol (ss = - 0.66; P = 0.001) but not emotional stress reactivity (all P>0.05) at 8 weeks postpartum, whereas CAR at 6 weeks postpartum failed to predict hormonal (ACTH: ss = 0.02; P = 0.933, plasma cortisol: ss = - 0.23; P = 0.407, salivary cortisol: ss = - 0.15; P = 0.597) or emotional (all P>0.05) stress responses at 8 weeks postpartum. The activity of the HPA axis during pregnancy is associated with maternal HPA responsiveness to stress postpartum. Putative biological underpinnings warrant further attention. A better understanding of stress-related processes peripartum may pave the way for the prevention of associated puerperal disorders.

  7. Maternal Age at Holocaust Exposure and Maternal PTSD Independently Influence Urinary Cortisol Levels in Adult Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Bader, Heather N.; Bierer, Linda M.; Lehrner, Amy; Makotkine, Iouri; Daskalakis, Nikolaos P.; Yehuda, Rachel

    2014-01-01

    Background: Parental traumatization has been associated with increased risk for the expression of psychopathology in offspring, and maternal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appears to increase the risk for the development of offspring PTSD. In this study, Holocaust-related maternal age of exposure and PTSD were evaluated for their association with offspring ambient cortisol and PTSD-associated symptom expression. Method: Ninety-five Holocaust offspring and Jewish comparison subjects received diagnostic and psychological evaluations, and 24 h urinary cortisol was assayed by RIA. Offspring completed the parental PTSD questionnaire to assess maternal PTSD status. Maternal Holocaust exposure was identified as having occurred in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood and examined in relation to offspring psychobiology. Results: Urinary cortisol levels did not differ for Holocaust offspring and comparison subjects but differed significantly in offspring based on maternal age of exposure and maternal PTSD status. Increased maternal age of exposure and maternal PTSD were each associated with lower urinary cortisol in offspring, but did not exhibit a significant interaction. In addition, offspring PTSD-associated symptom severity increased with maternal age at exposure and PTSD diagnosis. A regression analysis of correlates of offspring cortisol indicated that both maternal age of exposure and maternal PTSD were significant predictors of lower offspring urinary cortisol, whereas childhood adversity and offspring PTSD symptoms were not. Conclusion: Offspring low cortisol and PTSD-associated symptom expression are related to maternal age of exposure, with the greatest effects associated with increased age at exposure. These effects are relatively independent of the negative consequences of being raised by a trauma survivor. These observations highlight the importance of maternal age of exposure in determining a psychobiology in offspring that is consistent with increased

  8. Cortisol awakening response (CAR)'s flexibility leads to larger and more consistent associations with psychological factors than CAR magnitude.

    PubMed

    Mikolajczak, Moïra; Quoidbach, Jordi; Vanootighem, Valentine; Lambert, Florence; Lahaye, Magali; Fillée, Catherine; de Timary, Philippe

    2010-06-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is increasingly recognized as a potential biological marker of psychological and physical health status. Yet, the CAR literature is replete with contradictory results: both supposedly protective and vulnerability psychosocial factors have been associated with both increased and decreased CAR. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the CAR flexibility would be a better indicator of psychological status than CAR magnitude. Forty-two men measures of happiness, perceived stress and neuroticism, and took saliva samples immediately on awakening, then at 15, 30, 45 and 60min post-awakening on three study days (i.e., Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). When considering the CAR magnitude, our effects perfectly reflect the inconsistencies previously observed in the literature (i.e., the main effects of the psychological predictors are not consistent with each other, and the effect of one predictor on a given day contradicts the effect of the same predictor on another day). However, considering the CAR flexibility leads to a fully consistent pattern: protective factors (i.e., high happiness, low stress, low neurotiscim) are associated with a flexible CAR (i.e., lower CAR during weekends compared to workdays) whereas vulnerability factors (i.e., low happiness, high stress, high neurotiscim) are associated with a stiff CAR (i.e., same magnitude during weekends and workdays). We conclude that considering the CAR flexibility (e.g., between weekends and workdays) rather than the traditional CAR magnitude might be a way to understand the apparent conflicts in the CAR literature.

  9. Maternal cortisol stimulates neurogenesis and affects larval behaviour in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Best, Carol; Kurrasch, Deborah M.; Vijayan, Mathilakath M.

    2017-01-01

    Excess glucocorticoid transferred from stressed mother to the embryo affects developing vertebrate offspring, but the underlying programming events are unclear. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that increased zygotic glucocorticoid deposition, mimicking a maternal stress scenario, modifies early brain development and larval behaviour in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Cortisol was microinjected into the yolk at one cell-stage, to mimic maternal transfer, and the larvae [96 hours post-fertilization (hpf)] displayed increased activity in light and a reduction in thigmotaxis, a behavioural model for anxiety, suggesting an increased propensity for boldness. This cortisol-mediated behavioural phenotype corresponded with an increase in primary neurogenesis, as measured by incorporation of EdU at 24 hpf, in a region-specific manner in the preoptic region and the pallium, the teleostean homolog of the hippocampus. Also, cortisol increased the expression of the proneural gene neurod4, a marker of neurogenesis, in a region- and development-specific manner in the embryos. Altogether, excess zygotic cortisol, mimicking maternal stress, affects early brain development and behavioural phenotype in larval zebrafish. We propose a key role for cortisol in altering brain development leading to enhanced boldness, which may be beneficial in preparing the offspring to a stressful environment and enhancing fitness. PMID:28098234

  10. Maternal Cortisol Mediates Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Interrenal Axis Development in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Nesan, Dinushan; Vijayan, Mathilakath M.

    2016-01-01

    In zebrafish (Danio rerio), de novo synthesis of cortisol in response to stressor exposure commences only after hatch. Maternally deposited cortisol is present during embryogenesis, but a role for this steroid in early development is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that maternal cortisol is essential for the proper development of hypothalamus-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis activity and the onset of the stressor-induced cortisol response in larval zebrafish. In this study, zygotic cortisol content was manipulated by microinjecting antibody to sequester this steroid, thereby making it unavailable during embryogenesis. This was compared with embryos containing excess cortisol by microinjection of exogenous steroid. The resulting larval phenotypes revealed distinct treatment effects, including deformed mesoderm structures when maternal cortisol was unavailable and cardiac edema after excess cortisol. Maternal cortisol unavailability heightened the cortisol stress response in post-hatch larvae, whereas excess cortisol abolished the stressor-mediated cortisol elevation. This contrasting hormonal response corresponded with altered expression of key HPI axis genes, including crf, 11B hydroxylase, pomca, and star, which were upregulated in response to reduced cortisol availability and downregulated when embryos had excess cortisol. These findings for the first time underscore a critical role for maternally deposited cortisol in programming HPI axis development and function in zebrafish. PMID:26940285

  11. Exposure to Maternal Distress in Childhood and Cortisol Activity in Young Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahrer, Nicole E.; Luecken, Linda J.; Wolchik, Sharlene A.; Tein, Jenn-Yun; Sandler, Irwin N.

    2014-01-01

    Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal distress during late childhood (9-12 years)…

  12. Daily diary reports of social connection, objective sleep, and the cortisol awakening response during adolescents' first year of college.

    PubMed

    Sladek, Michael R; Doane, Leah D

    2015-02-01

    Poor sleep and alterations in the stress-sensitive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may be mechanisms through which loneliness impacts adolescents' well-being. Few researchers have explored whether daily variation in experiences of social connection predict day-to-day variation in sleep and HPA axis activity among adolescents navigating the college context. Using daily diary reports of social connection, objective measures of sleep (actigraphy), and naturalistic salivary assessment, the present study examined within-person associations between first-year college students' social connection during the day and sleep that night, as well as diurnal cortisol activity the following day. The present study also explored trait-level loneliness as a moderator of these associations after adjusting for baseline loneliness assessed in high school. Seventy-one first-year college students (23% male; M age = 18.85; 52% non-Hispanic White) completed daily diary reports, wore a wrist-based accelerometer (actigraph watch), and provided saliva samples five times daily across three consecutive weekdays. The results from hierarchical linear models indicated that within-person increases in daily social connection were significantly associated with longer time spent in bed and more actual time asleep that night only for adolescents high on loneliness. Within-person increases in daily social connection were associated with a greater cortisol awakening response (CAR) the next day, regardless of trait loneliness. These findings illustrate that more daily social connection with others than usual may predict improved sleep quantity for lonely adolescents and a physiological index of anticipating upcoming daily demands (CAR) in general. Future intervention programs might consider including strategies focused on enhancing daily social interactions among adolescents starting college, particularly for lonely adolescents.

  13. Associations between maternal prenatal cortisol concentrations and child outcomes: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Zijlmans, Maartje A C; Riksen-Walraven, J Marianne; de Weerth, Carolina

    2015-06-01

    A frequently proposed mechanism underlying the link between maternal prenatal stress/anxiety and child outcomes is heightened concentrations of maternal cortisol. In this systematic review, empirical findings on associations between maternal prenatal cortisol concentrations and child outcomes (physical/health, cognitive/motor, psychological/behavioral, and cortisol) are summarized. The number of empirical studies that find significant associations between maternal prenatal cortisol and child outcomes is small, but the majority of the studies that do find associations show that maternal cortisol is related to altered child outcomes (e.g. more physical/health problems, lower cognitive/motor development, more psychological/behavioral problems, and higher child cortisol concentrations). Inspection of the studies reveals possible critical gestational periods for maternal cortisol to affect different child outcomes. The heterogeneity in study designs and cortisol assessment methods makes drawing strong conclusions premature. However, the fact that most studies did not find significant associations suggests that maternal cortisol may not to be the sole or even main underlying mechanism in the relation between maternal prenatal stress/anxiety and child outcomes. Limitations of the reviewed studies are discussed, and directions for future research and reporting strategies are provided.

  14. Early Family and Child-Care Antecedents of Awakening Cortisol Levels in Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roisman, Glenn I.; Susman, Elizabeth; Barnett-Walker, Kortnee; Booth-Laforce, Cathryn; Owen, Margaret Tresch; Belsky, Jay; Bradley, Robert H.; Houts, Renate; Steinberg, Laurence

    2009-01-01

    This study examined early observed parenting and child-care experiences in relation to functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis over the long term. Consistent with the attenuation hypothesis, individuals (n = 863) who experienced: (a) higher levels of maternal insensitivity and (b) more time in child-care centers in the first…

  15. Increased maternal nighttime cortisol concentrations in late gestation alter glucose and insulin in the neonatal lamb

    PubMed Central

    Antolic, Andrew; Feng, Xiaodi; Wood, Charles E; Richards, Elaine M; Keller-Wood, Maureen

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that a modest chronic increase in maternal cortisol concentrations impairs maternal glucose metabolism and increases the incidence of perinatal stillbirth. The dramatic outcomes prevented our ability to study the effects of maternal hypercortisolemia on neonatal growth, glucose metabolism, and hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis response. Therefore, we developed a model in which pregnant ewes are infused for 12 h/day at 0.5 mg·kg–1·day–1 from day 115 of gestation until delivery (˜145), elevating nighttime plasma cortisol concentrations. This pattern of elevation of cortisol mimics that in patients with elevated evening cortisol concentrations, as in Cushing’s syndrome or chronic depression. Plasma cortisol, glucose, insulin, and electrolytes were measured during pregnancy and postpartum in control and cortisol-infused ewes and their postnatal lambs for the first 14 days after delivery. Neonatal growth and plasma ACTH, aldosterone, renin activity, and electrolytes, and organ weights at 14 days of age were also measured. Infusion of cortisol increased maternal plasma cortisol during pregnancy but not postpartum, and did not alter neonatal ACTH or cortisol. Although maternal glucose and insulin concentrations were not changed by the maternal infusion of cortisol, neonatal plasma glucose was increased and plasma insulin was decreased compared to those in the control group. Neonatal ponderal index and kidney weight were reduced, left ventricular wall thickness was increased, and plasma sodium and creatinine were increased after maternal cortisol infusion. These results suggest that excess maternal cortisol concentrations in late gestation alter growth, glucose and insulin regulation, and organ maturation in the neonate. PMID:26371232

  16. Maternal antenatal anxiety and amniotic fluid cortisol and testosterone: possible implications for foetal programming.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, P; Bergman, K; O'Connor, T G; Glover, V

    2008-04-01

    Both animal and human studies have shown that maternal stress or anxiety during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of disturbance in offspring neurodevelopment and behaviour. In animal models, increased foetal exposure to glucocorticoids has been found to be one mechanism for such foetal programming. Little is understood of the mediating mechanisms in humans, and one aim of our research programme is to investigate this further. This review presents a synopsis of some of our recent results. We aimed to test the hypothesis that maternal anxiety was associated with raised maternal cortisol, and that this in turn was related to increased foetal exposure to cortisol. We studied this by recruiting women at amniocentesis, obtained their Spielberger State Anxiety scores, and assessed maternal plasma cortisol and amniotic fluid cortisol. We also examined maternal plasma and amniotic fluid testosterone levels. Awaiting amniocentesis was in general anxiogenic, but with a wide range of anxiety scores. Maternal anxiety was significantly associated with plasma cortisol before 17 weeks, albeit of modest magnitude (r = 0.0.23), and not after 17 weeks of gestation. This is probably due to the known attenuation of the maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis with increasing gestation. We found a strong correlation between maternal plasma and amniotic fluid cortisol levels, which increased with gestation and became robust after 18 weeks. This correlation increased with maternal anxiety, suggesting a possible effect of maternal mood on placental function. There was a positive correlation between cortisol and testosterone in amniotic fluid, in both male and female foetuses independent of maternal anxiety, plasma testosterone, gestational age, and time of collection. Foetal stress may be associated with increased foetal exposure to testosterone. However, maternal anxiety did not predict amniotic fluid cortisol or testosterone level. Thus, the role of these hormones in

  17. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) in 2- to 4-year-old children: effects of acute nighttime sleep restriction, wake time, and daytime napping.

    PubMed

    Gribbin, Colleen E; Watamura, Sarah Enos; Cairns, Alyssa; Harsh, John R; Lebourgeois, Monique K

    2012-05-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is presumed critically important for healthy adaptation. The current literature, however, is hampered by systematic measurement difficulties relative to awakening, especially with young children. While reports suggest the CAR is smaller in children than adults, well-controlled research in early childhood is scarce. We examined whether robust CARs exist in 2- to 4-year-old children and if sleep restriction, wake timing, and napping influence the CAR (n = 7). During a 25-day in-home protocol, researchers collected four salivary cortisol samples (0, 15, 30, 45 min post-wake) following five polysomnographic sleep recordings on nonconsecutive days after 4 hr (morning nap), 7 hr (afternoon nap), 10 hr (evening nap), 13 hr (baseline night), and 16 hr (sleep restriction night) of wakefulness (20 samples/child). The CAR was robust after nighttime sleep, diminished after sleep restriction, and smaller but distinct after morning and afternoon (not evening) naps. Cortisol remained elevated 45 min after morning and afternoon naps. .

  18. Maternal melatonin selectively inhibits cortisol production in the primate fetal adrenal gland

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Farfan, Claudia; Richter, Hans G; Germain, Alfredo M; Valenzuela, Guillermo J; Campino, Carmen; Rojas-García, Pedro; Forcelledo, María Luisa; Torrealba, Fernando; Serón-Ferré, María

    2004-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that in primates, maternal melatonin restrains fetal and newborn adrenal cortisol production. A functional G-protein-coupled MT1 membrane-bound melatonin receptor was detected in 90% gestation capuchin monkey fetal adrenals by (a) 2-[125I] iodomelatonin binding (Kd, 75.7 ± 6.9 pm; Bmax, 2.6 ± 0.4 fmol (mg protein)−1), (b) cDNA identification, and (c) melatonin inhibition of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)- and corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH)-stimulated cortisol but not of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHAS) production in vitro. Melatonin also inhibited ACTH-induced 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase mRNA expression. To assess the physiological relevance of these findings, we next studied the effect of chronic maternal melatonin suppression (induced by exposure to constant light during the last third of gestation) on maternal plasma oestradiol during gestation and on plasma cortisol concentration in the 4- to 6-day-old newborn. Constant light suppressed maternal melatonin without affecting maternal plasma oestradiol concentration, consistent with no effect on fetal DHAS, the precursor of maternal oestradiol. However, newborns from mothers under constant light condition had twice as much plasma cortisol as newborns from mothers maintained under a normal light–dark schedule. Newborns from mothers exposed to chronic constant light and daily melatonin replacement had normal plasma cortisol concentration. Our results support a role of maternal melatonin in fetal and neonatal primate cortisol regulation. PMID:14673186

  19. Cortisol reactivity, maternal sensitivity, and learning in 3-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Laura A; Trevathan, Wenda R

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of adrenocortical functioning on infant learning during an emotionally challenging event (brief separation from mother). We also explored possible relationships between maternal sensitivity and both infant and maternal cortisol reactivity during the learning/maternal separation episode. Sixty-three 3-month-olds and their mothers were videotaped for a 10 min normal interaction period, and mother-infant behavioral synchrony was measured using Isabella and Belsky's [Isabella, R. A., & Belsky, J. (1991). Interactional synchrony and the origins of infant-mother attachment: A replication study. Child Development, 62, 373-384] coding scheme. The percentage of synchronous behaviors served as a measure of maternal sensitivity. Learning and short-term memory involved relating the infant's mother's voice with a moving colored block in a preferential looking paradigm. Infants whose cortisol increased during the session showed no learning or memory, infants whose cortisol declined appeared to learn and remember the association, while infants whose cortisol did not change evidenced learning, but not memory for the voice/object correspondence. Sensitivity and cortisol reactivity were correlated for mothers, but not for infants. Infant and maternal cortisol values for the first sampling period were highly correlated, but their cortisol reactivity values were uncorrelated, supporting the notion that infants and mothers have coordinated adrenocortical functioning systems when physically together, but become uncoordinated during a separation/learning event.

  20. Effects of Elevated Circulating Cortisol Concentrations on Maternal Behavior in Common Marmoset Monkeys (Callithrix jacchus)

    PubMed Central

    Saltzman, Wendy; Abbott, David H.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Both acute and chronic stress can impair maternal behavior and increase rates of infant abuse in several species. The mechanisms inducing these effects are unknown, but experimental manipulation of circulating corticosterone levels alters maternal behavior in rats, and circulating or excreted cortisol concentrations have been found to correlate either positively or negatively with maternal behavior in humans and nonhuman primates. In this study, therefore, we experimentally tested the hypothesis that both acute and chronic treatment with exogenous glucocorticoids would alter maternal behavior in a primate, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Multiparous females, approximately 3−5 weeks postpartum, received daily injections of either cortisol (hydrocortisone sodium succinate and hydrocortisone acetate; N = 7) or vehicle (N = 7) for 8 days, and maternal behavior was characterized under baseline conditions as well as during exposure to a noise stressor. Cortisol treatment successfully elevated both morning and afternoon plasma cortisol concentrations and suppressed circulating levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone. In home-cage observations, cortisol-treated females carried their infants significantly less than control mothers, and in noise-stressor tests, several hours after the first cortisol or vehicle treatment, cortisol-treated mothers inspected their infants significantly more often than controls. Aggression towards infants was infrequent and mild, and did not differ between treatment groups. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that cortisol elevations can alter maternal behavior in primates. As these effects were limited in scope, however, they suggest that other stress-responsive hormones or neuropeptides may additionally play a role in mediating the effects of stress on maternal behavior. PMID:19362777

  1. Prospective associations between the cortisol awakening response and first onsets of anxiety disorders over a six-year follow-up--2013 Curt Richter Award Winner.

    PubMed

    Adam, Emma K; Vrshek-Schallhorn, Suzanne; Kendall, Ashley D; Mineka, Susan; Zinbarg, Richard E; Craske, Michelle G

    2014-06-01

    Cross-sectional associations have been found between anxiety disorders (ADs) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning, as measured by levels of salivary cortisol, but prospective data are lacking, as are studies examining specific ADs. We have previously shown that one aspect of the diurnal rhythm of cortisol, the cortisol awakening response (CAR), prospectively predicts both new onsets and recurrences of major depressive disorder (MDD). Here we sought to examine whether it also predicts ADs. Participants (N=232) were drawn from the larger Northwestern-UCLA Youth Emotion Project, a two-site, longitudinal study of older adolescents, which aims to identify common and specific risk factors for mood and anxiety disorders. After baseline interviews for mental health diagnoses, a subset of adolescents completed a three-day cortisol sampling protocol measuring the CAR and other diurnal rhythm indices. Participants with past or current anxiety disorders at the time of cortisol measurement were excluded and Cox regression (survival analysis) was used to predict first onsets of ADs over the subsequent six years. AD onsets (N=25), the largest subset of which were social anxiety disorder (SAD) onsets (N=11), were observed over six annual follow up diagnostic interviews. Even when statistically adjusting for past and prospective MDD onsets and other covariates, a higher CAR significantly predicted increased first onsets of ADs (HR=2.20, p<.05). A higher CAR was also a strong and significant predictor of the subset of SAD onsets (HR=5.37, p<.005). Implications for the etiology of ADs, with a focus on SAD, are discussed.

  2. A physiological increase in maternal cortisol alters uteroplacental metabolism in the pregnant ewe

    PubMed Central

    Davies, K. L.; Ward, J. W.; de Blasio, M. J.; Fowden, A. L.

    2016-01-01

    Key points Fetal nutrient supply is dependent, in part, upon the transport capacity and metabolism of the placenta.The stress hormone, cortisol, alters metabolism in the adult and fetus but it is not known whether cortisol in the pregnant mother affects metabolism of the placenta.In this study, when cortisol concentrations were raised in pregnant sheep by infusion, proportionately more of the glucose taken up by the uterus was consumed by the uteroplacental tissues while less was transferred to the fetus, despite an increased placental glucose transport capacity. Concomitantly, the uteroplacental tissues produced lactate at a greater rate.The results show that maternal cortisol concentrations regulate uteroplacental glycolytic metabolism, producing lactate for use in utero.Prolonged increases in placental lactate production induced by cortisol overexposure may contribute to the adverse effects of maternal stress on fetal wellbeing. Abstract Fetal nutrition is determined by maternal availability, placental transport and uteroplacental metabolism of carbohydrates. Cortisol affects maternal and fetal metabolism, but whether maternal cortisol concentrations within the physiological range regulate uteroplacental carbohydrate metabolism remains unknown. This study determined the effect of maternal cortisol infusion (1.2 mg kg−1 day−1 i.v. for 5 days, n = 20) on fetal glucose, lactate and oxygen supplies in pregnant ewes on day ∼130 of pregnancy (term = 145 days). Compared to saline infusion (n = 21), cortisol infusion increased maternal, but not fetal, plasma cortisol (P < 0.05). Cortisol infusion also raised maternal insulin, glucose and lactate concentrations, and blood pH, PCO2 and HCO3 − concentration. Although total uterine glucose uptake determined by Fick's principle was unaffected, a greater proportion was consumed by the uteroplacental tissues, so net fetal glucose uptake was 29% lower in cortisol‐infused than control ewes (P < 0

  3. Differential sensitization of parenting on early adolescent cortisol: Moderation by profiles of maternal stress.

    PubMed

    Martin, Christina Gamache; Kim, Hyoun K; Fisher, Philip A

    2016-05-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a critical component of the body's stress-response neurobiological system, and its development and functioning are shaped by the social environment. Much of our understanding of the effects of the caregiving environment on the HPA axis is based on (a) parenting in young children and (b) individual maternal stressors, such as depression. Yet, less is known about how parenting behaviors and maternal stressors interact to influence child cortisol regulation, particularly in older children. With an ethnically diverse sample of 199 mothers and their early adolescent children (M=11.00years; 54% female), a profile analytic approach was used to investigate how multiple phenotypes of maternal stress co-occur and moderate the relation between parenting behaviors and youths' diurnal cortisol rhythms. Latent profile analysis yielded 4 profiles: current parenting stress, concurrent parenting and childhood stress, childhood stress, and low stress. For mothers with the concurrent parenting and childhood stress profile, inconsistent discipline, poor parental supervision, and harsh caregiving behaviors each were related to flattened diurnal cortisol rhythms in their adolescents. For mothers with the current parenting stress and childhood stress profiles, their use of inconsistent discipline was associated with flattened diurnal cortisol rhythms in their adolescents. For mothers with the low stress profile, none of the parenting behaviors was related to their adolescents' cortisol regulation. Findings suggest that based on mothers' stress profile, parenting behaviors are differentially related to youths' diurnal cortisol rhythms. Implications for parenting interventions are discussed.

  4. The Timing of Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Cortisol and Psychosocial Stress Is Associated with Human Infant Cognitive Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Elysia P.; Sandman, Curt A.

    2010-01-01

    The consequences of prenatal maternal stress for development were examined in 125 full-term infants at 3, 6, and 12 months of age. Maternal cortisol and psychological state were evaluated 5 times during pregnancy. Exposure to elevated concentrations of cortisol early in gestation was associated with a slower rate of development over the 1st year…

  5. In search of the HPA axis activity in unipolar depression patients with childhood trauma: Combined cortisol awakening response and dexamethasone suppression test.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shaojia; Gao, Weijia; Huang, Manli; Li, Lingjiang; Xu, Yi

    2016-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of childhood trauma on HPA axis activity both in depression patients and healthy controls in order to determine the role of HPA axis abnormalities in depression and to find the differences in HPA axis functioning that may lead certain individuals more susceptible to the depressogenic effects of childhood trauma. Eighty subjects aged 18-45 years were recruited into four study groups (n = 18, depression patients with childhood trauma exposures, CTE/MDD; n = 17, depression patients without childhood adversity, non-CTE/MDD; n = 23, healthy persons with childhood trauma, CTE/non-MDD; and n = 22, healthy persons without childhood adversity, non-CTE/non-MDD). Each participant collected salivary samples in the morning at four time points: immediately upon awakening, 30, 45, and 60 min after awakening for the assessment of CAR and underwent a 1 mg-dexamethasone suppression test (DST). Regardless of depression, subjects with CTE exhibited an enhanced CAR and the CAR areas under the curve to ground (AUCg) were associated with their childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) physical neglect scores and CTQ total scores. In addition, the CTE/MDD group also showed a highest post-DST cortisol concentration and a decreased glucocorticoid feedback inhibition among four groups of subjects. The present findings suggested that childhood trauma was associated with hyperactivity of HPA axis as measured with CAR, potentially reflecting the vulnerability for developing depression after early life stress exposures. Moreover, dysfunction of the GR-mediated negative feedback control might contribute to the development of depression after CTE.

  6. Cortisol secretion and change in sleep problems in early childhood: Moderation by maternal overcontrol.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Elizabeth J; Hummel, Alexandra C; Luebbe, Aaron M

    2015-04-01

    Childhood sleep problems are prevalent and relate to a wide range of negative psychological outcomes. However, it remains unclear how biological processes, such as HPA activity, may predict sleep problems over time in childhood in the context of certain parenting environments. Fifty-one mothers and their 18-20 month-old toddlers participated in a short-term longitudinal study assessing how shared variance among morning levels, diurnal change, and nocturnal change in toddlers' cortisol secretion predicted change in sleep problems in the context of maternal overprotection and critical control. A composite characterized by low variability in, and, to a lesser extent, high morning values of cortisol, predicted increasing sleep problems from age 2 to age 3 when mothers reported high critical control. Results suggest value in assessing shared variance among different indices of cortisol secretion patterns and the interaction between cortisol and the environment in predicting sleep problems in early childhood.

  7. Maternal Psychopathology and Early Child Temperament Predict Young Children's Salivary Cortisol 3 Years Later

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Lea R.; Smith, Victoria C.; Olino, Thomas M.; Dyson, Margaret W.; Bufferd, Sara J.; Rose, Suzanne A.; Klein, Daniel N.

    2013-01-01

    Neuroendocrine dysfunction is hypothesized to be an early emerging vulnerability marker for depression. We tested whether the main and interactive effects of maternal psychopathology and early child temperamental vulnerability for depression assessed at age three predicted offspring's basal cortisol function at age 6 years. 228 (122 males)…

  8. Interparental Violence, Maternal Emotional Unavailability and Children's Cortisol Functioning in Family Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.; Davies, Patrick T.; Cicchetti, Dante; Manning, Liviah G.

    2012-01-01

    Our goal in the present study was to examine the specificity of pathways among interparental violence, maternal emotional unavailability, and children's cortisol reactivity to emotional stressors within interparental and parent-child relationships. The study also tested whether detrimental family contexts were associated, on average, with…

  9. The timing of prenatal exposure to maternal cortisol and psychosocial stress is associated with human infant cognitive development.

    PubMed

    Davis, Elysia P; Sandman, Curt A

    2010-01-01

    The consequences of prenatal maternal stress for development were examined in 125 full-term infants at 3, 6, and 12 months of age. Maternal cortisol and psychological state were evaluated 5 times during pregnancy. Exposure to elevated concentrations of cortisol early in gestation was associated with a slower rate of development over the 1st year and lower mental development scores at 12 months. Elevated levels of maternal cortisol late in gestation, however, were associated with accelerated cognitive development and higher scores at 12 months. Elevated levels of maternal pregnancy-specific anxiety early in pregnancy were independently associated with lower 12-month mental development scores. These data suggest that maternal cortisol and pregnancy-specific anxiety have programming influences on the developing fetus.

  10. Self-reported health and cortisol awakening response in parents of people with asperger syndrome: the role of trait anger and anxiety, coping and burden.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Robledillo, N; Moya-Albiol, L

    2013-11-01

    Caring for offspring with autism spectrum disorders entails high levels of stress for a long period of time and is associated with several types of health complaints. Few studies have focused on specific effects of particular disorders in the spectrum. This study was carried out with the aim of evaluating the global health of parents of people with Asperger syndrome (N = 53) compared to those of typically developing children (N = 54) through self-reported measures (medication consumption and somatic symptoms) and biological markers (cortisol awakening response [CAR]). Additionally, we analysed various psychological variables as potential predictors of caregiver health. We found that caregivers take more medication and have worse self-reported health than controls, but there were no significant differences in CAR between the groups. However, after controlling for negative affect, differences between groups in CAR reached significance. With regards to predictor variables, anxiety trait, cognitive-coping style, burden and anger temperament were significantly associated with caregiver's self-reported health. These findings underline the need to develop interventions that foster improvements in the health of caregivers, reduce their burden and enhance their quality of life.

  11. Cross-cultural gene by environment interactions in depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and the cortisol awakening response: FKBP5 polymorphisms and childhood trauma in South Asia

    PubMed Central

    Kohrt, Brandon A.; Worthman, Carol M.; Ressler, Kerry J.; Mercer, Kristina B.; Upadhaya, Nawaraj; Koirala, Suraj; Nepal, Mahendra K.; Sharma, Vidya Dev; Binder, Elisabeth B.

    2015-01-01

    Background Despite increased attention to global mental health, psychiatric genetic research has been dominated by studies in high-income countries, especially with populations of European descent. The objective of this study was to assess single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FKBP5 gene in a population living in South Asia. Methods Among adults in Nepal, depression was assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), and childhood maltreatment with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). FKBP5 SNPs were genotyped for 682 participants. Cortisol awakening response (CAR) was assessed in a subsample of 118 participants over three days. Results The FKBP5 tag-SNP rs9296158 showed a main effect on depressive symptoms (p=0.03). Interaction of rs9296158 and childhood maltreatment predicted adult depressive symptoms (p=0.02) but not PTSD. Childhood maltreatment associated with endocrine response in individuals homozygous for the A allele, demonstrated by a negative CAR and overall hypocortisolemia in the rs9296158 AA genotype and childhood maltreatment group (p<0.001). Conclusions This study replicated findings related to FKBP5 and depression but not PTSD. Gene by environment studies should take differences in prevalence and cultural significance of phenotypes and exposures into account when interpreting cross-cultural findings. PMID:26100613

  12. Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Depression and Cortisol Influences Infant Temperament

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Elysia Poggi; Glynn, Laura M.; Schetter, Christine Dunkel; Hobel, Calvin; Chicz-Demet, Aleksandra; Sandman, Curt A.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Accumulating evidence indicates that prenatal maternal and fetal processes can have a lasting influence on infant and child development. Results from animal models indicate that prenatal exposure to maternal stress and stress hormones has lasting consequences for development of the offspring. Few prospective studies of human pregnancy…

  13. Parenting stressors and morning cortisol in a sample of working mothers

    PubMed Central

    Hibel, Leah C.; Mercado, Evelyn; Trumbell, Jill M.

    2012-01-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a normative rise in cortisol levels across the 30 minutes post awakening. Both the levels and the degree of change in cortisol across this time period are sensitive to the perceived challenges of the day and are thought to prepare the individual to meet these tasks. However, working parents of young children may be under unique strains at this time as they attempt to simultaneously care for their children while also preparing themselves for the workday ahead. In these analyses we examined the contributions of both work and parenting stress on maternal cortisol levels and awakening responses, and how these relationships differed on workdays compared to non-workdays. To do this, saliva samples were collected from 56 working mothers (25% single) with a child between the ages of 2 and 4 years old (mode = 2 children), at awakening and 30-minutes post awakening. Samples were collected on four consecutive days—two non-workdays followed by two workdays. Analyses revealed mothers reporting higher levels of parenting stress had higher average AM cortisol on workdays compared to non-workdays. Further, mothers reporting a combination of high job strain and high parenting stress had significantly higher cortisol levels, and steeper CAR increases on workdays compared to non-workdays. Findings are discussed by integrating knowledge from the fields of parenting stress, work-family, and stress physiology. PMID:22866929

  14. Maternal intimate partner violence exposure, child cortisol reactivity and child asthma.

    PubMed

    Bair-Merritt, Megan H; Voegtline, Kristin; Ghazarian, Sharon R; Granger, Douglas A; Blair, Clancy; Johnson, Sara B

    2015-10-01

    Psychosocial stressors like intimate partner violence (IPV) exposure are associated with increased risk of childhood asthma. Longitudinal studies have not investigated the role of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity (and associated alterations in cortisol release) in the child IPV exposure-asthma association. We sought to investigate this association, and to assess whether this relationship differs by child HPA reactivity. This secondary analysis used longitudinal cohort data from the Family Life Project. Participants included 1,292 low-income children and mothers; maternal interview and child biomarker data, including maternal report of IPV and child asthma, and child salivary cortisol obtained with validated stress reactivity paradigms, were collected when the child was 7, 15, 24, 35, and 48 months. Using structural equation modeling, maternal IPV when the child was 7 months of age predicted subsequent reports of childhood asthma (B=0.18, p=.002). This association differed according to the child's HPA reactivity status, with IPV exposed children who were HPA reactors at 7 and 15 months of age--defined as a ≥10% increase in cortisol level twenty minutes post peak arousal during the challenge tasks and a raw increase of at least .02μg/dl--being significantly at risk for asthma (7 months: B=0.17, p=.02; 15 months: B=0.17, p=.02). Our findings provide support that children who are physiologically reactive are the most vulnerable to adverse health outcomes when faced with environmental stressors.

  15. Feed allowance and maternal backfat levels during gestation influence maternal cortisol levels, milk fat composition and offspring growth.

    PubMed

    Amdi, Charlotte; Giblin, Linda; Hennessy, Alan A; Ryan, Tomás; Stanton, Catherine; Stickland, Neil C; Lawlor, Peadar G

    2013-01-01

    The fetal and early postnatal environment can have a long-term influence on offspring growth. Using a pig model, we investigated the effects of maternal body condition (thin or fat) and maternal gestation feeding level (restricted, control or high) on maternal stress, milk composition, litter size, piglet birth weight and pre-weaning growth. A total of sixty-eight thin (backfat depth about 8 mm) and seventy-two fat (backfat depth about 12 mm) gilts were selected at about 22 weeks. This backfat difference was then accentuated nutritionally up to service at about 32 weeks. During gestation, individual gilts from within each group were randomly allocated to a gestation diet at the following feed allowances: 1·8 kg/d (restricted); 2·5 kg/d (control) and 3·5 kg/d (high) until day 90 of gestation. During gestation restricted gilts had higher levels of cortisol than high and control fed animals. Piglets born to fat gilts had higher average daily gain during the lactation period and higher weaning weights at day 28 than piglets born to thin gilts. Gilts on a high feed level had heavier piglets than those provided with restricted and control allocations. Fat gilts had less saturated fat in their milk at day 21 of lactation and higher unsaturated fat levels. No differences were found in the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio in the milk between thin and fat gilts. In conclusion, maternal body condition influenced the daily weight gain of offspring up to weaning (day 28) and milk fat composition. Furthermore, maternal feed level during gestation alters maternal cortisol levels and milk fat composition.

  16. Stickleback embryos use ATP-binding cassette transporters as a buffer against exposure to maternally derived cortisol

    PubMed Central

    Bukhari, Syed Abbas; Bell, Alison M.

    2016-01-01

    Offspring from females that experience stressful conditions during reproduction often exhibit altered phenotypes and many of these effects are thought to arise owing to increased exposure to maternal glucocorticoids. While embryos of placental vertebrates are known to regulate exposure to maternal glucocorticoids via placental steroid metabolism, much less is known about how and whether egg-laying vertebrates can control their steroid environment during embryonic development. We tested the hypothesis that threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) embryos can regulate exposure to maternal steroids via active efflux of maternal steroids from the egg. Embryos rapidly (within 72 h) cleared intact steroids, but blocking ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters inhibited cortisol clearance. Remarkably, this efflux of cortisol was sufficient to prevent a transcriptional response of embryos to exogenous cortisol. Taken together, these findings suggest that, much like their placental counterparts, developing fish embryos can actively regulate their exposure to maternal cortisol. These findings highlight the fact that even in egg-laying vertebrates, the realized exposure to maternal steroids is mediated by both maternal and embryonic processes and this has important implications for understanding how maternal stress influences offspring development. PMID:26984623

  17. The Timing of Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Cortisol and Psychosocial Stress is Associated with Human Infant Cognitive Development

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Elysia Poggi; Sandman, Curt A.

    2009-01-01

    The consequences of prenatal maternal stress for infant mental and motor development were examined in 125 full term infants at 3, 6 and12 months of age. Maternal cortisol and psychological state were evaluated five times during pregnancy and at 3, 6 and 12 months postpartum. Exposure to elevated concentrations of cortisol early in gestation was associated with a slower rate of development over the first postnatal year and lower scores on the mental development index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) at 12 months. Elevated levels of maternal cortisol late in gestation, however, were associated with accelerated development over the first year and higher scores on the BSID at 12 months. Elevated levels of maternal pregnancy specific anxiety early in pregnancy were independently associated with lower scores on the BSID at 12 months. These associations could not be explained by postnatal maternal psychological stress, stress related to parenting, prenatal medical history, socioeconomic factors or child race, sex or birth order. These data suggest that maternal cortisol and pregnancy specific anxiety have programming influences on the developing fetus. Prenatal exposure to the same signal, cortisol, had opposite associations with infant development based on the timing of exposure. PMID:20331658

  18. Maternal Negative Affect in Infancy is Linked to Disrupted Patterns of Diurnal Cortisol and Alpha Asymmetry Across Contexts During Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Brooker, Rebecca J.; Davidson, Richard J.; Goldsmith, H. Hill

    2015-01-01

    Maternal negative affect in the early environment is believed to sensitize long-term coping capacities in children. Yet, little work has identified physiological systems associated with coping responses, which may serve as mechanisms for links between early maternal negativity and child outcomes. Using a longitudinal twin sample (N = 89), we found that high levels of maternal negative affect during infancy were associated with dysregulation of diurnal cortisol and EEG asymmetry, two physiological systems that may support active, approach oriented coping when children were 7 years old. Flattened slopes of diurnal cortisol were also associated with greater numbers of concurrent overanxious behaviors in children. A mediation analysis supported the role of dysregulated diurnal cortisol as a mediator of the link between maternal negative affect in the early environment and childhood risk for anxiety problems. PMID:26422661

  19. Associations of Maternal and Infant Testosterone and Cortisol Levels With Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Infant Socioemotional Problems.

    PubMed

    Cho, June; Su, Xiaogang; Phillips, Vivien; Holditch-Davis, Diane

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the associations of testosterone and cortisol levels with maternal depressive symptoms and infant socioemotional (SE) problems that are influenced by infant gender. A total of 62 mothers and their very-low-birth weight (VLBW) infants were recruited from a neonatal intensive care unit at a tertiary medical center in the southeast United States. Data were collected at three time points (before 40 weeks' postmenstrual age [PMA] and at 3 months and 6 months of age corrected for prematurity). Measures included infant medical record review, maternal interview, biochemical assays of salivary hormone levels in mother-VLBWinfant pairs, and standard questionnaires. Generalized estimating equations with separate analyses for boys and girls showed that maternal testosterone level was negatively associated with depressive symptoms in mothers of boys, whereas infant testosterone level was negatively associated with maternal report of infant SE problems in girls after controlling for characteristics of mothers and infants and number of days post birth of saliva collection. Not surprisingly, the SE problems were positively associated with a number of medical complications. Mothers with more depressive symptoms reported that their infants had more SE problems. Mothers with higher testosterone levels reported that girls, but not boys, had fewer SE problems. In summary, high levels of testosterone could have a protective role for maternal depressive symptoms and infant SE problems. Future research need to be directed toward clinical application of these preliminary results.

  20. Maternal history of child abuse moderates the association between daily stress and diurnal cortisol in pregnancy: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Bublitz, Margaret H; Stroud, Laura R

    2013-11-01

    Previous research on the association between maternal daily stress and cortisol in pregnancy has yielded inconsistent findings. However, past studies have not considered whether stressful experiences in childhood impact maternal cortisol regulation in pregnancy. In this pilot study, we aimed to examine whether the association between maternal daily stress and cortisol differed according to maternal history of child abuse. Forty-one women provided salivary cortisol samples at wake-up, 30 min after wake-up, and bedtime for 3 days at three times over second and third trimesters of pregnancy. On each day of cortisol collection women reported their daily stress. Women reported child abuse experiences prior to age 18 years by completing 15 items from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale. Twenty-one percent (N = 9) of women reported a history of child sexual abuse (CSA), 44% (N = 18) reported a history of non-sexual child abuse and 34% (N = 14) reported no history of child abuse. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analyses revealed that stress in the day prior was associated with increases in morning cortisol in women with CSA histories compared to women with non-sexual abuse histories or no history of child abuse. Increases in evening cortisol were associated with increases in daily stress in women with CSA histories compared to women with non-sexual abuse histories or no history of child abuse. Results reveal a dynamic association between daily stress and cortisol in pregnancy and suggest that patterns differ according to maternal child abuse history.

  1. Mild perinatal adversities moderate the association between maternal harsh parenting and hair cortisol: Evidence for differential susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Windhorst, Dafna A; Rippe, Ralph C A; Mileva-Seitz, Viara R; Verhulst, Frank C; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Noppe, Gerard; van Rossum, Elisabeth F C; van den Akker, Erica L T; Tiemeier, Henning; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J

    2017-03-13

    It has been shown that following exposure to mild perinatal adversity, children have greater susceptibility to both the negative and positive aspects of their subsequent environment. In a large population-based cohort study (N = 1,776), we investigated whether mild perinatal adversity moderated the association between maternal harsh parenting and children's hair cortisol levels, a biomarker of chronic stress. Mild perinatal adversity was defined as late preterm birth (gestational age at birth of 34-37 weeks, 6 days) or small for gestational age (birth weight between the 2.5th and 10th percentile for full term gestational age). Harsh parenting was assessed by maternal self-report at 3 years. Children's hair cortisol concentrations were measured from hair samples collected at age 6. There were no significant bivariate associations between mild perinatal adversities and harsh parenting and hair cortisol. However, mild perinatal adversities moderated the association between maternal harsh parenting and hair cortisol levels. Children with mild perinatal adversity had lower cortisol levels if parented more harshly and higher cortisol levels in the absence of harsh parenting than children who did not experience mild perinatal adversity. These results provide further evidence that mild perinatal adversity is a potential marker of differential susceptibility to environmental influences.

  2. Associations between Parents' Marital Functioning, Maternal Parenting Quality, Maternal Emotion and Child Cortisol Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K.

    2007-01-01

    Associations between family functioning and children's stress hormone levels are explored, by examining how aspects of the interparental relationship (parents' marital satisfaction and parent conflict styles), the mother-child relationship (maternal involvement and warmth) and maternal emotional functioning (depression, anxiety and self-esteem)…

  3. Increased Waking Salivary Cortisol and Depression Risk in Preschoolers: The Role of Maternal History of Melancholic Depression and Early Child Temperament

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Lea R.; Klein, Daniel N.; Olino, Thomas M.; Dyson, Margaret; Rose, Suzanne

    2009-01-01

    Background: Elevated morning cortisol is a prospective predictor of major depression and may serve as a vulnerability marker. We examined the relation between morning cortisol and two prominent risk factors for depression in preschool-aged children: maternal depression and child temperament. We also explored whether maternal depression during the…

  4. Parenting stressors and morning cortisol in a sample of working mothers.

    PubMed

    Hibel, Leah C; Mercado, Evelyn; Trumbell, Jill M

    2012-10-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a normative rise in cortisol levels across the 30 minutes post awakening. Both the levels and the degree of change in cortisol across this time period are sensitive to the perceived challenges of the day and are thought to prepare the individual to meet these tasks. However, working parents of young children may be under unique strains at this time as they attempt to simultaneously care for their children while also preparing themselves for the workday ahead. In these analyses we examined the contributions of both work and parenting stress on maternal cortisol levels and awakening responses, and how these relationships differed on workdays compared with nonworkdays. To do this, saliva samples were collected from 56 working mothers (25% single) with a child between the ages of 2 and 4 years old (mode = 2 children), at awakening and 30 min postawakening. Samples were collected on 4 consecutive days-2 nonworkdays followed by 2 workdays. Analyses revealed mothers reporting higher levels of parenting stress had higher average a.m. cortisol on workdays compared with nonworkdays. Further, mothers reporting a combination of high job strain and high parenting stress had significantly higher cortisol levels and steeper CAR increases on workdays compared with nonworkdays. Findings are discussed by integrating knowledge from the fields of parenting stress, work-family, and stress physiology.

  5. Maternal and child contributions to cortisol response to emotional arousal in young children from low-income, rural communities.

    PubMed

    Blair, Clancy; Granger, Douglas A; Kivlighan, Katie T; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Willoughby, Michael; Greenberg, Mark T; Hibel, Leah C; Fortunato, Christine K

    2008-07-01

    Relations of maternal and child characteristics to child cortisol reactivity to and recovery from emotional arousal were examined prospectively at approximately 7 months of age (infancy) and then again at approximately 15 months of age (toddlerhood). The sample was diverse and population based (N = 1,292 mother-infant dyads) and included families from predominantly low-income, rural communities. Maternal behavior, family income-to-need ratio and social advantage, and child temperament, attention, and mental development were assessed, and children's saliva was sampled before and after standardized procedures designed to elicit emotional arousal. Maternal engagement in infancy was associated with greater cortisol reactivity at the infancy assessment and with reduced overall cortisol level at the toddler assessment. Also at the toddler assessment, child attention, mental development, and temperamental distress to novelty were associated with increased cortisol reactivity and regulation, whereas temperamental distress to limitations and African American ethnicity were associated with reduced cortisol reactivity. Findings are consistent with prior work linking early caregiving to the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress response system and with a conceptual model in which developing temperament is characterized by the interplay of emotional reactivity and the emergence of the ability to effortfully regulate this reactivity using attention.

  6. Consequences of 'tiger' parenting: a cross-cultural study of maternal psychological control and children's cortisol stress response.

    PubMed

    Doan, Stacey N; Tardif, Twila; Miller, Alison; Olson, Sheryl; Kessler, Daniel; Felt, Barbara; Wang, Li

    2016-05-04

    Parenting strategies involving psychological control are associated with increased adjustment problems in children. However, no research has examined the extent to which culture and psychological control predict children's stress physiology. We examine cultural differences in maternal psychological control and its associations with children's cortisol. Chinese (N = 59) and American (N = 45) mother-child dyads participated in the study. Mothers reported on psychological control. Children's cortisol was collected during a stressor and two indices of Area Under the Curve (AUC) were computed: AUCg which accounts for total output, and AUCi, which captures reactivity. Results indicate that Chinese mothers reported higher levels of psychological control and Chinese children had higher levels of AUCg than their American counterparts. Across both cultures, psychological control was significantly associated with increased cortisol levels as indexed by AUCg. There were no associations for AUCi. Finally, mediation analyses demonstrated that psychological control fully explained cultural differences in children's cortisol stress response as indexed by AUCg.

  7. Maternal and Child Contributions to Cortisol Response to Emotional Arousal in Young Children from Low-Income, Rural Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blair, Clancy; Granger, Douglas A.; Kivlighan, Katie T.; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Willoughby, Michael; Greenberg, Mark T.; Hibel, Leah C.; Fortunato, Christine K.

    2008-01-01

    Relations of maternal and child characteristics to child cortisol reactivity to and recovery from emotional arousal were examined prospectively at approximately 7 months of age (infancy) and then again at approximately 15 months of age (toddlerhood). The sample was diverse and population based (N = 1,292 mother-infant dyads) and included families…

  8. High maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy are associated with more psychiatric symptoms in offspring at age of nine - A prospective study from Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Isaksson, J; Lindblad, F; Valladares, E; Högberg, U

    2015-12-01

    Maternal exposure to stress or adversity during pregnancy has been associated with negative health effects for the offspring including psychiatric symptoms. Programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been suggested as one mediating process. In order to investigate possible long term effects of stressors during pregnancy, we followed 70 children and their mothers from pregnancy up to nine years aiming to investigate if maternal cortisol levels and distress/exposure to partner violence were associated with child psychiatric symptoms and child cortisol levels at follow-up. Maternal distress was evaluated using The Self Reporting Questionnaire, exposure to partner violence by an instrument from WHO and child psychiatric symptoms with Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). We adjusted the analyses for gestational week, gender, SES, perinatal data and maternal distress/exposure to partner violence at child age of nine years. Elevated maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy, as a possible marker of maternal stress load, were correlated with higher CBCL-ratings, especially concerning externalizing symptoms. Maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy were not associated with child cortisol levels at child age of nine years. Maternal distress and exposure to partner violence during pregnancy were neither associated with child psychiatric symptoms nor child cortisol levels. To conclude, intrauterine exposure to elevated cortisol levels was associated with higher ratings on offspring psychopathology at nine years of age. The lack of association between maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy and child cortisol levels does not support the hypothesis of fetal programming of the HPA-axis, but reliability problems may have contributed to this negative finding.

  9. Mechanisms for the adverse effects of late gestational increases in maternal cortisol on the heart revealed by transcriptomic analyses of the fetal septum.

    PubMed

    Richards, Elaine M; Wood, Charles E; Rabaglino, Maria Belen; Antolic, Andrew; Keller-Wood, Maureen

    2014-08-01

    We have previously shown in sheep that 10 days of modest chronic increase in maternal cortisol resulting from maternal infusion of cortisol (1 mg/kg/day) caused fetal heart enlargement and Purkinje cell apoptosis. In subsequent studies we extended the cortisol infusion to term, finding a dramatic incidence of stillbirth in the pregnancies with chronically increased cortisol. To investigate effects of maternal cortisol on the heart, we performed transcriptomic analyses on the septa using ovine microarrays and Webgestalt and Cytoscape programs for pathway inference. Analyses of the transcriptomic effects of maternal cortisol infusion for 10 days (130 day cortisol vs 130 day control), or ∼25 days (140 day cortisol vs 140 day control) and of normal maturation (140 day control vs 130 day control) were performed. Gene ontology terms related to immune function and cytokine actions were significantly overrepresented as genes altered by both cortisol and maturation in the septa. After 10 days of cortisol, growth factor and muscle cell apoptosis pathways were significantly overrepresented, consistent with our previous histologic findings. In the term fetuses (∼25 days of cortisol) nutrient pathways were significantly overrepresented, consistent with altered metabolism and reduced mitochondria. Analysis of mitochondrial number by mitochondrial DNA expression confirmed a significant decrease in mitochondria. The metabolic pathways modeled as altered by cortisol treatment to term were different from those modeled during maturation of the heart to term, and thus changes in gene expression in these metabolic pathways may be indicative of the fetal heart pathophysiologies seen in pregnancies complicated by stillbirth, including gestational diabetes, Cushing's disease and chronic stress.

  10. Mechanisms for the adverse effects of late gestational increases in maternal cortisol on the heart revealed by transcriptomic analyses of the fetal septum

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Charles E.; Rabaglino, Maria Belen; Antolic, Andrew; Keller-Wood, Maureen

    2014-01-01

    We have previously shown in sheep that 10 days of modest chronic increase in maternal cortisol resulting from maternal infusion of cortisol (1 mg/kg/day) caused fetal heart enlargement and Purkinje cell apoptosis. In subsequent studies we extended the cortisol infusion to term, finding a dramatic incidence of stillbirth in the pregnancies with chronically increased cortisol. To investigate effects of maternal cortisol on the heart, we performed transcriptomic analyses on the septa using ovine microarrays and Webgestalt and Cytoscape programs for pathway inference. Analyses of the transcriptomic effects of maternal cortisol infusion for 10 days (130 day cortisol vs 130 day control), or ∼25 days (140 day cortisol vs 140 day control) and of normal maturation (140 day control vs 130 day control) were performed. Gene ontology terms related to immune function and cytokine actions were significantly overrepresented as genes altered by both cortisol and maturation in the septa. After 10 days of cortisol, growth factor and muscle cell apoptosis pathways were significantly overrepresented, consistent with our previous histologic findings. In the term fetuses (∼25 days of cortisol) nutrient pathways were significantly overrepresented, consistent with altered metabolism and reduced mitochondria. Analysis of mitochondrial number by mitochondrial DNA expression confirmed a significant decrease in mitochondria. The metabolic pathways modeled as altered by cortisol treatment to term were different from those modeled during maturation of the heart to term, and thus changes in gene expression in these metabolic pathways may be indicative of the fetal heart pathophysiologies seen in pregnancies complicated by stillbirth, including gestational diabetes, Cushing's disease and chronic stress. PMID:24867915

  11. A longitudinal study of the effects of child-reported maternal warmth on cortisol stress response 15 years after parental divorce

    PubMed Central

    Luecken, Linda J.; Hagan, Melissa J.; Wolchik, Sharlene A.; Sandler, Irwin N.; Tein, Jenn-Yun

    2015-01-01

    Objective Childhood parental divorce is associated with an increased risk of behavioral and physical health problems. Alterations in adrenocortical activity may be a mechanism in this relation. Parent-child relationships have been linked to cortisol regulation in children exposed to adversity, but prospective research is lacking. We examined maternal warmth in adolescence as a predictor of young adults’ cortisol stress response 15 years after parental divorce. Methods Participants included 240 youth from recently divorced families. Mother and child reports of maternal warmth were assessed at 6 time points across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Offspring salivary cortisol was measured in young adulthood before and after a social stress task. Structural equation modeling was used to predict cortisol response from maternal warmth across early and late adolescence. Results Higher child-reported maternal warmth in early adolescence predicted higher child-reported maternal warmth in late adolescence (std. regression = .45, SE = .065, p < .01), which predicted lower cortisol response to a challenging interpersonal task in young adulthood (std. regression = −.20, SE = .094, p = .031). Neither mother-reported warmth in early adolescence nor late adolescence was significantly related to offspring cortisol response in young adulthood. Conclusions Results suggest that for children from divorced families, a warm mother-child relationship post-divorce and across development, as perceived by the child, may promote efficient biological regulation later in life. PMID:26465217

  12. High and low protein∶ carbohydrate dietary ratios during gestation alter maternal-fetal cortisol regulation in pigs.

    PubMed

    Kanitz, Ellen; Otten, Winfried; Tuchscherer, Margret; Gräbner, Maria; Brüssow, Klaus-Peter; Rehfeldt, Charlotte; Metges, Cornelia C

    2012-01-01

    Imbalanced maternal nutrition during gestation can cause alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system in offspring. The present study investigated the effects of maternal low- and high-protein diets during gestation in pigs on the maternal-fetal HPA regulation and expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (11β-HSD1 and 11β-HSD2) and c-fos mRNAs in the placenta and fetal brain. Twenty-seven German Landrace sows were fed diets with high (HP, 30%), low (LP, 6.5%) or adequate (AP, 12.1%) protein levels made isoenergetic by varying the carbohydrate levels. On gestational day 94, fetuses were recovered under general anesthesia for the collection of blood, brain and placenta samples. The LP diet in sows increased salivary cortisol levels during gestation compared to the HP and AP sows and caused an increase of placental GR and c-fos mRNA expression. However, the diurnal rhythm of plasma cortisol was disturbed in both LP and HP sows. Total plasma cortisol concentrations in the umbilical cord vessels were elevated in fetuses from HP sows, whereas corticosteroid-binding globulin levels were decreased in LP fetuses. In the hypothalamus, LP fetuses displayed an enhanced mRNA expression of 11β-HSD1 and a reduced expression of c-fos. Additionally, the 11β-HSD2 mRNA expression was decreased in both LP and HP fetuses. The present results suggest that both low and high protein∶carbohydrate dietary ratios during gestation may alter the expression of genes encoding key determinants of glucocorticoid hormone action in the fetus with potential long-lasting consequences for stress adaptation and health.

  13. Maternal endocrine adaptation throughout pregnancy to nutritional manipulation: consequences for maternal plasma leptin and cortisol and the programming of fetal adipose tissue development.

    PubMed

    Bispham, J; Gopalakrishnan, G S; Dandrea, J; Wilson, V; Budge, H; Keisler, D H; Broughton Pipkin, F; Stephenson, T; Symonds, M E

    2003-08-01

    Maternal nutrient restriction at specific stages of gestation has differential effects on fetal development such that the offspring are programmed to be at increased risk of adult disease. We investigated the effect of gestational age and maternal nutrition on the maternal plasma concentration of leptin and cortisol together with effects on fetal adipose tissue deposition plus leptin, IGF-I, IGF-II ligand, and receptor mRNA abundance near to term. Singleton bearing ewes were either nutrient restricted (NR; consuming 3.2-3.8 MJ/d of metabolizable energy) or fed to appetite (consuming 8.7-9.9 MJ/d) over the period of maximal placental growth, i.e. between 28 and 80 d gestation. After 80 d gestation, ewes were either fed to calculated requirements, consuming 6.7-7.5 MJ/d, or were fed to appetite and consumed 8.0-10.9 MJ/d. Pregnancy resulted in a rise in plasma leptin concentration by 28 d gestation, which continued up to 80 d gestation when fed to appetite but not with nutrient restriction. Plasma cortisol was also lower in NR ewes up to 80 d gestation, a difference no longer apparent when food intake was increased. At term, irrespective of maternal nutrition in late gestation, fetuses sampled from ewes NR in early gestation possessed more adipose tissue, whereas when ewes were fed to appetite throughout gestation, fetal adipose tissue deposition and leptin mRNA abundance were both reduced. These changes may result in the offspring of NR mothers being at increased risk of obesity in later life.

  14. Maternal Cortisol Levels and Behavior Problems in Adolescents and Adults with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seltzer, Marsha Mailick; Greenberg, Jan S.; Hong, Jinkuk; Smith, Leann E.; Almeida, David M.; Coe, Christopher; Stawski, Robert S.

    2010-01-01

    Using daily diary methods, mothers of adolescents and adults with ASD (n = 86) were contrasted with a nationally representative comparison group of mothers of similarly-aged unaffected children (n = 171) with respect to the diurnal rhythm of cortisol. Mothers of adolescents and adults with ASD were found to have significantly lower levels of…

  15. Lower socioeconomic position in pregnancy is associated with lower diurnal cortisol production and lower birth weight in male infants

    PubMed Central

    Bublitz, Margaret H.; Vergara-Lopez, Chrystal; Treter, Maggie O’Reilly; Stroud, Laura R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Low maternal socioeconomic position (SEP) has been associated with adverse neonatal outcomes including preterm birth, low birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction, and infant mortality. A key biological mechanism that has been proposed to explain this association is hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity, yet the association between SEP and HPA activity in pregnancy has received little attention. In this study we aimed to examine the association between SEP and two forms of maternal cortisol regulation: diurnal slope and wakening response across pregnancy. Furthermore, we aimed to assess if this association differed by the sex of the fetus. Methods 217 pregnant women aged 18–40 with singleton pregnancies participated. Women were excluded from participating if they were < 18 or > 40 years old, and if they were at risk for maternal or obstetric complications. Women provided information on socioeconomic characteristics of adults contributing to the participants’ household to compute a Hollingshead score of SEP. Women provided salivary cortisol samples upon awakening, 30 minutes after wake-up, and at bedtime at three times over pregnancy and once 30 days postpartum to calculate the diurnal slope and cortisol awakening response (CAR). Using linear regression analyses, we examined the relations between maternal SEP and maternal diurnal slope and CAR. We explored the relations between maternal SEP and cortisol by fetal sex using linear regression analyses. We also explored links between maternal SEP, maternal cortisol, and infant birth outcomes. Findings Women of lower SEP displayed smaller awakening responses and less change over the day compared to women of higher SEP. SEP was significantly associated with attenuated diurnal slope only among women carrying female fetuses, while for CAR, the association between SEP and attenuated CAR was significant only for women carrying male fetuses. Lower SEP was associated with decreased birth weight, and

  16. Moderators of the Relation between Shyness and Behavior with Peers: Cortisol Dysregulation and Maternal Emotion Socialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Elizabeth L.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the relations among shyness, physiological dysregulation, and maternal emotion socialization in predicting children's social behavior with peers during the kindergarten year (N = 66; 29 girls). For shy children, interactions with peers represent potential stressors that can elicit negative emotion and physiological…

  17. Association of Maternal and Infant Salivary Testosterone and Cortisol and Infant Gender With Mother-Infant Interaction in Very-Low-Birthweight Infants.

    PubMed

    Cho, June; Su, Xiaogang; Phillips, Vivien; Holditch-Davis, Diane

    2015-10-01

    Male very-low-birthweight (VLBW) infants are more prone than females to health and developmental problems and less positive mother-infant interactions. Because gender differences in brain development and social relationships suggest hormonal influences on quality of mother-infant interaction, the authors explored the associations of maternal and infant salivary testosterone and cortisol levels with mother-infant interactions in the sample as a whole and by gender, after controlling for covariates. Data were collected prospectively from 62 mothers and their VLBW infants through infant record review, maternal interview, biochemical measurement of both mothers and infants, and observation of mother-infant interactions at 40 weeks postmenstrual age and at three and six months corrected age. Infants' positive interactions increased and mothers' decreased from three to six months. In generalized estimating equation (GEE) analyses, after controlling for covariates, higher maternal testosterone and infant cortisol were associated with more positive and more frequent maternal interactive behaviors. In GEE analyses by infant gender, after controlling for covariates, effects of maternal and infant hormone levels became more significant, especially on infants' interactive behaviors. Based on these preliminary findings, among VLBW infants, males with high testosterone are expected to have less positive mother-infant interactions than males with low testosterone or female infants.

  18. The effects of childhood sexual abuse on cortisol trajectories in pregnancy are moderated by current family functioning

    PubMed Central

    Bublitz, Margaret H.; Parade, Stephanie; Stroud, Laura R.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this study was to understand the roles of maternal history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and current family functioning on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in pregnancy. Participants were 185 pregnant women (ages 18–40) who completed items from the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale to measure child maltreatment history and the Family Assessment Device to measure current family functioning. Participants provided saliva samples at wake-up and 30 minutes after wake-up at 25, 29, and 35 weeks gestation to measure CAR. A moderation effect was found such that participants with more severe CSA histories and poorer perceived family functioning had increasing CAR in pregnancy compared to participants with less severe CSA histories and better family functioning. These findings highlight the importance of considering stress in both childhood and current environments in predicting maternal cortisol in pregnancy. PMID:25220484

  19. Intimate Partner Violence Exposure, Salivary Cortisol, and Childhood Asthma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bair-Merritt, Megan H.; Johnson, Sara B.; Okelo, Sande; Page, Gayle

    2012-01-01

    Parents were given supplies to collect 3 child salivary cortisol samples (awakening, 30-min after awakening, bedtime) at home on a typical day, and return them via mail. Medical records also were abstracted. Results: Fifty-three percent (n = 29) returned child salivary samples. Families who returned samples typically returned them within 2 weeks,…

  20. Correspondence between hair cortisol concentrations and 30-day integrated daily salivary and weekly urinary cortisol measures.

    PubMed

    Short, Sarah J; Stalder, Tobias; Marceau, Kristine; Entringer, Sonja; Moog, Nora K; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A; Wadhwa, Pathik D; Buss, Claudia

    2016-09-01

    Characterization of cortisol production, regulation and function is of considerable interest and relevance given its ubiquitous role in virtually all aspects of physiology, health and disease risk. The quantification of cortisol concentration in hair has been proposed as a promising approach for the retrospective assessment of integrated, long-term cortisol production. However, human research is still needed to directly test and validate current assumptions about which aspects of cortisol production and regulation are reflected in hair cortisol concentrations (HCC). Here, we report findings from a validation study in a sample of 17 healthy adults (mean±SD age: 34±8.6 yrs). To determine the extent to which HCC captures cumulative cortisol production, we examined the correspondence of HCC, obtained from the first 1cm scalp-near hair segment, assumed to retrospectively reflect 1-month integrated cortisol secretion, with 30-day average salivary cortisol area-under-the curve (AUC) based on 3 samples collected per day (on awakening, +30min, at bedtime) and the average of 4 weekly 24-h urinary free cortisol (UFC) assessments. To further address which aspects of cortisol production and regulation are best reflected in the HCC measure, we also examined components of the salivary measures that represent: (1) production in response to the challenge of awakening (using the cortisol awakening response [CAR]), and (2) chronobiological regulation of cortisol production (using diurnal slope). Finally, we evaluated the test-retest stability of each cortisol measure. Results indicate that HCC was most strongly associated with the prior 30-day integrated cortisol production measure (average salivary cortisol AUC) (r=0.61, p=0.01). There were no significant associations between HCC and the 30-day summary measures using CAR or diurnal slope. The relationship between 1-month integrated 24-h UFC and HCC did not reach statistical significance (r=0.30, p=0.28). Lastly, of all cortisol

  1. Prenatal maternal depression is associated with offspring inflammation at 25 years: a prospective longitudinal cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Plant, D T; Pawlby, S; Sharp, D; Zunszain, P A; Pariante, C M

    2016-01-01

    Animal studies and a handful of prospective human studies have demonstrated that young offspring exposed to maternal prenatal stress show abnormalities in immune parameters and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function. No study has examined the effect of maternal prenatal depression on offspring inflammation and HPA axis activity in adulthood, nor the putative role of child maltreatment in inducing these abnormalities. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and awakening cortisol were measured at age 25 in 103 young-adult offspring of the South London Child Development Study (SLCDS), a prospective longitudinal birth cohort of mother–offspring dyads recruited in pregnancy in 1986. Maternal prenatal depression was assessed in pregnancy at 20 and 36 weeks; offspring child maltreatment (birth 17 years) was assessed at offspring ages 11, 16 and 25; and offspring adulthood depression (18–25 years) was assessed at age 25. Exposure to maternal prenatal depression predicted significantly elevated offspring hs-CRP at age 25 (odds ratio=11.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.1, 127.0), P=0.041), independently of child maltreatment and adulthood depression, known risk factors for adulthood inflammation. In contrast, maternal prenatal depression did not predict changes in offspring adulthood cortisol; however, offspring exposure to child maltreatment did, and was associated with elevated awakening cortisol levels (B=161.9, 95% CI (45.4, 278.4), P=0.007). Fetal exposure to maternal depression during pregnancy has effects on immune function that persist for up to a quarter of a century after birth. Findings are consistent with the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis for the biological embedding of gestational psychosocial adversity into vulnerability for future physical and mental illness. PMID:27801895

  2. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Cortisol Regulation Across Days and Contexts in Middle-Aged Men

    PubMed Central

    York, Timothy P.; Eaves, Lindon J.; Mendoza, Sally P.; Hauger, Richard L.; Hellhammer, Dirk H.; Jacobson, Kristen C.; Levine, Seymour; Lupien, Sonia J.; Lyons, Michael J.; Prom-Wormley, Elizabeth; Xian, Hong; Kremen, William S.

    2010-01-01

    Cortisol is an indicator of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis responsivity to stress, but few twin studies have examined the heritability of cortisol concentrations in adults across the diurnal cycle and in different contexts. Saliva samples were provided by 783 middle-aged male twins on one laboratory and two home days as part of the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging. Significant cortisol heritability estimates were found for laboratory measures only: awakening (.56); 30 min after awakening (.48); 1000 h (.42); mean output across the day (.43); and mean cortisol awakening response (.64). Twin correlations at home were low. In the laboratory, they were unchanged for fraternal twins, but increased for identical twins. Greater measurement error at home did not appear to account for home-laboratory differences. The results suggest that genetic factors influence cortisol responses to specific environmental stressors. Thus, cortisol levels are correlated in identical twins only when they undergo similar experiences. PMID:20238238

  3. Restricting maternal space during parturition in the pig. Effects on oxytocin, vasopressin and cortisol secretion following vagino-cervical stimulation and administration of naloxone.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, C L; Boulton, M I; Forsling, M L; Goode, J A; McGrath, T J

    1997-04-01

    This experiment studied the effects on endocrine and birth parameters of parturient pigs produced by restricting maternal freedom of movement without otherwise altering environment. Six primiparous pigs (gilts) were each given a jugular catheter under anaesthesia 7 days before parturition and commenced birth in a strawed pen, 2.0 m x 1.5 m in size. Continuous automated blood sampling (3 ml min-1) from unrestrained gilts began following the birth of the first piglet (stage 1) and continued for 2 h. After at least 30 min of blood collection, maternal space was reduced to 2.0 m x 0.55 m by placing rails across the pen (stage 2). The scope for movement in stage 2 was similar to that offered by a farrowing crate. After at least 25 min each gilt was given the opioid antagonist naloxone (1 mg kg-1 i.v.: stage 3). At each stage, vagino-cervical stimulation (VCS) was applied to mimic foetal ejection. Non-cervically stimulated oxytocin (OT) secretion between stages 1 and 2 was unchanged (P > 0.05) but increased significantly relative to both stages 1 and 2 following naloxone treatment for 15-20 min (P < 0.05, paired t-tests on log10 data). Following VCS in all stages plasma OT rose (P < 0.05) for 1-2 min in a similar way to that seen previously following foetal ejection, the increases being proportionally similar irrespective of stage or baseline secretion. Cortisol secretion did not increase as a consequence of space restriction (mean +/- SEM concentrations were 28.6 +/- 8.51 pmol l-1 and 32.3 +/- 11.8 pmol l-1 in stages 1 and 2, respectively). In addition, VCS did not significantly affect cortisol output. Lysine vasopressin concentrations were not affected as a consequence of either stage or VCS. Parturition was not interrupted following space restriction of gilts. These data suggest that reducing maternal space allowance during parturition is not stressful when the process does not involve the movement of animals to novel surroundings.

  4. Sensitization of depressive-like behavior during repeated maternal separation is associated with more-rapid increase in core body temperature and reduced plasma cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    Yusko, Brittany; Hawk, Kiel; Schiml, Patricia A; Deak, Terrence; Hennessy, Michael B

    2012-02-01

    Infant guinea pigs exhibit a 2-stage response to maternal separation: an initial active stage, characterized by vocalizing, and a second passive stage marked by depressive-like behavior (hunched posture, prolonged eye-closure, extensive piloerection) that appears to be mediated by proinflammatory activity. Recently we found that pups showed an enhanced (i.e., sensitized) depressive-like behavioral response during repeated separation. Further, core body temperature was higher during the beginning of a second separation compared to the first, suggesting a more-rapid stress-induced febrile response to separation the second day, though the possibility that temperature was already elevated prior to the second separation could not be ruled out. Therefore, the present study examined temperature prior to, and during, 2 daily separations. We also examined the temperature response to a third separation conducted 3 days after the second, and assessed the effect of repeated separation on plasma cortisol levels. Core temperature did not differ just prior to the separations, but showed a more-rapid increase and then decline during both a second and third separation than during a first. Temperature responses were not associated with changes in motor activity. Depressive-like behavior was greater during the second and third separations. Pups separated a first time showed a larger plasma cortisol response at the conclusion of separation than did animals of the same age separated a third time. In all, the results indicate that the sensitization of depressive-like behavior during repeated separations over several days is accompanied by a more-rapid febrile response that may be related to a reduction of glucocorticoid suppression.

  5. [Is awakening only a dream?].

    PubMed

    Grosclaude, M

    1993-01-01

    "It's a dream ..." is the frequent definition of Intensive Care and Coma Experience proposed by patients. Does this word, so insistent and often heard in our research and those of many colleagues, correspond to the objective terms (onirism, confusion, delirium) qualifying clinical awakening or coma (as patients do assert it)? Or doesn't it rather point to a specific status of an other psychical experience? That is the author's hypothesis here developed, through specific aspects of awakening state and therapeutical implications.

  6. Cortisol Test

    MedlinePlus

    ... midnight. Cortisol is produced and secreted by the adrenal glands . Production of the hormone is regulated by the ... to produce ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to produce and release cortisol. In order for ...

  7. Patterns of developmental change in infants' nighttime sleep awakenings from 6 through 36 months of age.

    PubMed

    Weinraub, Marsha; Bender, Randall H; Friedman, Sarah L; Susman, Elizabeth J; Knoke, Bonnie; Bradley, Robert; Houts, Renate; Williams, Jason

    2012-11-01

    Nighttime sleep awakenings and infant and family characteristics were measured longitudinally in more than 1,200 infants when the infants were 6, 15, 24, and 36 months old. By 6 months of age, the majority of children slept through the night, awakening their mothers only about once or twice per week. However, not all children followed this predominant developmental pattern. Using growth mixture modeling, we identified 2 distinct developmental patterns. One group, labeled Sleepers, included 66% of the children. These children showed a flat trajectory of sleep awakenings from 6 through 36 months, with mothers reporting their infant awakening from sleep about 1 night per week. The second group, labeled Transitional Sleepers, included 34% of the infants. These children had 7 reported nights of awakenings per week at 6 months, dropping to 2 nights per week at 15 months and to 1 night per week by 24 months. Compared with Sleepers, Transitional Sleepers were more likely to be boys, score higher on the 6-month difficult temperament assessment, be breastfed at 6 and 15 months old, and have more depressed mothers at 6 months old. Using 2-group structural equation modeling, we examined individual differences at different points on the individual infants' sleep trajectories. For infants in both groups, reported sleep awakenings were associated with difficult temperament measured at 6 months, breastfeeding, infant illness, maternal depression, and greater maternal sensitivity. Infant-mother attachment measures were not related to these sleep awakenings.

  8. Day-to-day dynamics of experience--cortisol associations in a population-based sample of older adults.

    PubMed

    Adam, Emma K; Hawkley, Louise C; Kudielka, Brigitte M; Cacioppo, John T

    2006-11-07

    In 156 older adults, day-to-day variations in cortisol diurnal rhythms were predicted from both prior-day and same-day experiences, to examine the temporal ordering of experience-cortisol associations in naturalistic environments. Diary reports of daily psychosocial, emotional, and physical states were completed at bedtime on each of three consecutive days. Salivary cortisol levels were measured at wakeup, 30 min after awakening, and at bedtime each day. Multilevel growth curve modeling was used to estimate diurnal cortisol profiles for each person each day. The parameters defining those profiles (wakeup level, diurnal slope, and cortisol awakening response) were predicted simultaneously from day-before and same-day experiences. Prior-day feelings of loneliness, sadness, threat, and lack of control were associated with a higher cortisol awakening response the next day, but morning awakening responses did not predict experiences of these states later the same day. Same-day, but not prior-day, feelings of tension and anger were associated with flatter diurnal cortisol rhythms, primarily because of their association with higher same-day evening cortisol levels. Although wakeup cortisol levels were not predicted by prior-day levels of fatigue and physical symptoms, low wakeup cortisol predicted higher levels of fatigue and physical symptoms later that day. Results are consistent with a dynamic and transactional function of cortisol as both a transducer of psychosocial and emotional experience into physiological activation and an influence on feelings of energy and physical well-being.

  9. The associations between adolescent sleep, diurnal cortisol patterns and cortisol reactivity to dexamethasone suppression test.

    PubMed

    Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Martikainen, Silja; Kajantie, Eero; Heinonen, Kati; Wehkalampi, Karoliina; Lahti, Jari; Strandberg, Timo; Räikkönen, Katri

    2014-11-01

    Information on the associations between objectively measured sleep and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in early adolescence is scarce. We examined associations between average sleep duration and quality (sleep efficiency and wake after sleep onset) over 8 days with actigraphs and (1) diurnal cortisol patterns and (2) cortisol reactivity to a low-dose (3 μg/kg) overnight dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in a birth cohort born in 1998 (N=265 participants, mean age 12.3 years, SD=0.5). We also explored (3) if sleep duration and quality were affected the nights after the DST exposure. Cortisol was measured during 2 days, and participants were exposed to dexamethasone in the evening of first day. In boys, short sleep duration was associated with higher cortisol upon awakening and lower cortisol awakening response (CAR; P<0.05 and P<0.01). Long sleep duration in boys associated with higher CAR (P<0.02). Lower sleep quality in boys associated with lower CAR, but fell slightly short of significance (P<0.06). In girls, no significant associations were detected. Sleep quantity and quality were not associated with responses to the DST. There were no effects of DST on sleep (P>0.15 in between-subject analyses). The average sleep patterns showed associations with diurnal cortisol patterns during early adolescence, but only in boys. Sleep was not associated with cortisol reactivity to DST and the exogenous corticosteroid exposure did not affect sleep significantly.

  10. Infant hair cortisol: associations with salivary cortisol and environmental context.

    PubMed

    Flom, Megan; St John, Ashley M; Meyer, Jerrold S; Tarullo, Amanda R

    2017-01-01

    Early chronic stress has enduring implications for physical and mental health outcomes. Hair cortisol concentration (HCC) has emerged as a marker of cumulative cortisol exposure, yet HCC in infants is not well understood. We examined how infant HCC relates to widely used basal salivary cortisol measures, maternal HCC, and environmental context in 111 infants assessed at 6 and 12 months of age. Maternal HCC at 6 and 12 months was correlated with infant HCC at 12 months. At 12 months, infant HCC was positively associated with waking salivary cortisol concentration (SCC), evening SCC, and area under the curve (AUC), but was independent of diurnal slope. Breastfeeding was associated with lower HCC, whereas increased sleep disruption was related to flatter slope. Reduced nighttime sleep duration was related both to higher HCC and to flatter slope. A person-focused analysis indicated that the combination of high HCC and flattened slope was associated with more environmental risks, highlighting the importance of investigating the interplay between HCC and diurnal cortisol slope. Results support the validity of HCC as a marker of cumulative cortisol exposure in infancy, while emphasizing the value of including multiple cortisol measures assessing distinct aspects of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function.

  11. A day-centered approach to modeling cortisol: Diurnal cortisol profiles and their associations among U.S. adults

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieva, Natalia O.; Almeida, David M.; Dmitrieva, Julia; Loken, Eric; Pieper, Carl F.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Diurnal cortisol is a marker of HPA-axis activity that may be one of the biological mechanisms linking stressors to age-related health declines. The current study identified day-centered profiles of diurnal cortisol among 1,101 adults living in the United States. Participants took part in up to four consecutive days of salivary cortisol collection, assessed at waking, 30 minutes post-waking, before lunch, and before bedtime. Growth Mixture Modeling with latent time basis was used to estimate common within-day trajectories of diurnal cortisol among 2,894 cortisol days. The 3-class solution provided the best model fit, showing that the majority of study days (73%) were characterized by a Normative cortisol pattern, with a robust cortisol awakening response (CAR), a steep negative diurnal slope, coupled with low awakening and bedtime levels. Relative to this profile, diurnal cortisol on the remainder of days appeared either Elevated throughout the day (20% of days) or Flattened (7% of days). Relative to the Normative trajectory, the Elevated trajectory was distinguished by a higher morning cortisol level, whereas the Flattened trajectory was characterized by a high bedtime level, with weaker CAR and diurnal slope parameters. Relative to the Normative profile, Elevated profile membership was associated with older age and cigarette smoking. Greater likelihood of the Flattened cortisol pattern was observed among participants who were older, male, smoked cigarettes, used medications that are known to affect cortisol output, and reported poorer health. The current study demonstrates the value of a day-centered Growth Mixture Modeling approach to the study of diurnal cortisol, showing that deviations from the classic robust rhythm of diurnal cortisol are associated with older age, male sex, use of medications previously shown to affect cortisol levels, poorer health behaviors, and poorer self-reported health. PMID:23770247

  12. Effects of Degree of Awakening and the Criterion for Advancing Awakening on the Treatment of Bedwetting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rolider, Ahmos; Van Houten, Ron

    1986-01-01

    Two components of a gradually faded awakening procedure for treating bedwetting were tested with six children aged 4-11. Thorough awakening was more effective than partial awakening. A second experiment on advancing awakening time produced similar results between a stringent 6 consecutive dry night criterion and a more lenient 6 dry night…

  13. Maternal Gestational Cortisol and Testosterone Are Associated with Trade-Offs in Offspring Sex and Number in a Free-Living Rodent (Urocitellus richardsonii)

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Calen P.; Anderson, W. Gary; Berkvens, Charlene N.; Hare, James F.

    2014-01-01

    The adaptive manipulation of offspring sex and number has been of considerable interest to ecologists and evolutionary biologists. The physiological mechanisms that translate maternal condition and environmental cues into adaptive responses in offspring sex and number, however, remain obscure. In mammals, research into the mechanisms responsible for adaptive sex allocation has focused on two major endocrine axes: the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and glucocorticoids, and the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal (HPG) axis and sex steroids, particularly testosterone. While stress-induced activation of the HPA axis provides an intuitive model for sex ratio and litter size adjustment, plasma glucocorticoids exist in both bound and free fractions, and may be acting indirectly, for example by affecting plasma glucose levels. Furthermore, in female mammals, activation of the HPA axis stimulates the secretion of adrenal testosterone in addition to glucocorticoids (GCs). To begin to untangle these physiological mechanisms influencing offspring sex and number, we simultaneously examined fecal glucocorticoid metabolites, free and bound plasma cortisol, free testosterone, and plasma glucose concentration during both gestation and lactation in a free-living rodent (Urocitellus richardsonii). We also collected data on offspring sex and litter size from focal females and from a larger study population. Consistent with previous work in this population, we found evidence for a trade-off between offspring sex and number, as well as positive and negative correlations between glucocorticoids and sex ratio and litter size, respectively, during gestation (but not lactation). We also observed a negative relationship between testosterone and litter size during gestation (but not lactation), but no effect of glucose on either sex ratio or litter size. Our findings highlight the importance of binding proteins, cross-talk between endocrine systems, and temporal windows in the

  14. Social network characteristics and salivary cortisol in healthy older people.

    PubMed

    Lai, Julian C L; Chong, Alice M L; Siu, Oswald T; Evans, Phil; Chan, Cecilia L W; Ho, Rainbow T H

    2012-01-01

    Psychobiological research on aging in humans has been confounded by individual differences that have not been adequately characterized in the literature. This paper is an attempt to shed light on this issue by examining the impact of social network characteristics predictive of successful aging on salivary cortisol among 78 older Chinese people in Hong Kong. Eight salivary cortisol samples were collected each day for two consecutive days from immediately after awakening to 12 hours later. Two components of the cortisol diurnal cycle, response to awakening and diurnal decline, were examined in relation to social network characteristics including size, emotional support, and cultivation. ANOVAs with repeated measured were run to examine influences of the three social network characteristics on the cortisol awakening response and diurnal decline, with the effects of gender, age, socioeconomic status, and waking time controlled. Results indicated that those who spent more time and effort in developing and strengthening their social ties (i.e., those high in "cultivation") exhibited a significantly greater rise in cortisol in the morning and a significantly steeper decline over the day, thus attesting to more effective activation and deactivation of the HPA axis. Network cultivation reflected a positive motivation to nurture social relationships more than the other two network characteristics. Its effect on cortisol might stem from the positivity underlying the motivation.

  15. Associations of Long-term Shift Work with Waking Salivary Cortisol Concentration and Patterns among Police Officers

    PubMed Central

    FEKEDULEGN, Desta; BURCHFIEL, Cecil M.; VIOLANTI, John M.; HARTLEY, Tara A.; CHARLES, Luenda E.; ANDREW, Michael E.; MILLER, Diane B.

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate whether long-term shift work is associated with both the total hormonal secretion after awakening and the pattern of the cortisol levels during the first hour following awakening, among 65 randomly selected police officers who represent a high stress occupation. Dominant shift (Day, Afternoon, or Midnight) was ascertained using daily payroll records of each participant’s work activities during the 6–8 yrs prior to saliva sampling. Four salivary samples were collected at 15 min intervals upon first awakening. After accounting for potential confounders, salivary cortisol concentrations averaged across all four time points and total area under the curve differed significantly across shift with midnight shift workers showing suppressed awakening cortisol response relative to the afternoon and day shift. The percent of hours worked on midnight shift was inversely correlated with total awakening cortisol output. In contrast, the pattern of cortisol secretion during the first hour following waking appeared not to be affected as no significant interaction effect was found between time since awakening and shift work. The results show that long-term midnight shift work is associated with decreased absolute mean level and total volume of cortisol released over the waking period. PMID:23047078

  16. Changes in EEG pre and post awakening.

    PubMed

    Voss, Ursula

    2010-01-01

    This chapter is concerned with behavioral and electrophysiologic evidence of awakenings. Awakenings are understood here as a state change from sleeping to waking. We will discuss the methodological issues and the problem of properly defining an awakening. With regard to phenomena preceding an awakening, we will look at arousals and compare background to event-related activity in the electroencephalography (EEG). As arousability varies between and within species, the relevant EEG correlates of this variability are described. Concerning EEG changes following an awakening, the discussion focuses on sleep inertia effects.

  17. Can Morning Rise in Salivary Cortisol Be a Biological Parameter in an Occupational Rehabilitation Clinic? A Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Storetvedt, Kari; Garde, Anne Helene

    2014-01-01

    Objective. To test the feasibility of measuring salivary cortisol in an inpatient clinic for occupational rehabilitation, and cortisol as a biological parameter. Methods. In 17 patients in vocational rehabilitation, cortisol in saliva was measured at awakening, 30 min after and before bedtime. The cortisol measures were taken on day 2 and day 22 of the rehabilitation period. Cortisol awakening response was estimated in absolute value and as percent rise of the value at awakening. Results. The cortisol awakening response in absolute value was 6.7 (SD = 4.9) nmol/L on day 2 and 2.7 (SD = 5.6) nmol/L on day 22. The change was not statistically significant. The mean value for cortisol morning rise calculated in percent was 186% on day 2 and 51% on day 22. Conclusion. It is possible to conduct a clinical study including salivary cortisol in a rehabilitation clinic. This study indicates that cortisol morning rise may be a useful biological parameter for effect of intervention in a rehabilitation clinic; this remains to be tested in a larger population. PMID:24738033

  18. Development of the cortisol circadian rhythm in the light of stress early in life.

    PubMed

    Simons, Sterre S H; Beijers, Roseriet; Cillessen, Antonius H N; de Weerth, Carolina

    2015-12-01

    The secretion of the stress hormone cortisol follows a diurnal circadian rhythm. There are indications that this rhythm is affected by stress early in life. This paper addresses the development of the cortisol circadian rhythm between 1 and 6 years of age, and the role of maternal stress and anxiety early in the child's life on this (developing) rhythm. Participants were 193 healthy mother-child dyads from a community sample. Self-reported maternal stress and anxiety and physiological stress (saliva cortisol), were assessed prenatally (gestational week 37). Postnatally, self-reported maternal stress and anxiety were measured at 3, 6, 12, 30, and 72 months. Saliva cortisol samples from the children were collected on two days (four times each day) at 12, 30, and 72 months of age. The total amount of cortisol during the day and the cortisol decline over the day were determined to indicate children's cortisol circadian rhythm. Multilevel analyses showed that the total amount of cortisol decreased between 1 and 6 years. Furthermore, more maternal pregnancy-specific stress was related to higher total amounts of cortisol in the child. Higher levels of early postnatal maternal anxiety were associated with flatter cortisol declines in children. Higher levels of early postnatal maternal daily hassles were associated with steeper child cortisol declines over the day. These results indicated developmental change in children's cortisol secretion from 1 to 6 years and associations between maternal stress and anxiety early in children's lives and children's cortisol circadian rhythm in early childhood.

  19. The diurnal cortisol cycle and cognitive performance in the healthy old.

    PubMed

    Evans, P D; Fredhoi, C; Loveday, C; Hucklebridge, F; Aitchison, E; Forte, D; Clow, A

    2011-03-01

    Associations between cognitive performance and cortisol have variously been reported for measures of both cortisol level and change, and for some domains of cognitive functioning more than others. In this study, associations between cortisol secretion measures and cognitive performance were examined in 50 healthy older people (mean age 74 years; 34 F /16 M). Participants provided 16 accurately timed saliva samples over 2 consecutive days to determine diurnal profiles of cortisol secretion. Overall cognitive performance (OCP) was measured as the principal component of a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests. Across a 30 year age range, there was a strong inverse correlation between age and OCP. Age and poorer OCP were also associated with an attenuated cortisol awakening response (CAR), defined as the rise from 0-30 min after awakening, and a subsequent less steep fall in cortisol level over the rest of the day. Partialling analyses, suggested that the correlation between fall in cortisol over the day and OCP was independent of age. Both older age and less cortisol change were particularly related to poorer performance on tests of declarative memory and executive functioning. Our conclusions are that during the short post-awakening period, an exception exists to the generally pertaining association between higher levels of cortisol and poorer cognitive performance. Consequentially dynamic measures reflecting the rise (CAR) and fall from the post-awakening peak may be particularly salient in helping to explain links between cortisol and cognitive performance. Finally our pattern of results across different cognitive tests suggests an association between cortisol and those domains of cognitive functioning which depend crucially on the integrity of the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex.

  20. Single and aggregate salivary cortisol measures during two schooldays in midadolescent girls and boys.

    PubMed

    Folkesson, Lisa; Riva, Roberto; Östberg, Viveca; Lindfors, Petra

    2014-06-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, including its regulation of cortisol, is central to bodily functioning and salivary cortisol is a commonly used biomarker that reflects the functioning of the HPA axis. However, knowledge of diurnal cortisol rhythms in healthy adolescents is limited and few studies have examined patterns in midadolescent girls and boys across single and aggregate cortisol measures. To fill this gap, the present study investigated single and aggregate cortisol measures reflecting diurnal rhythms in 14 to 16-year-old girls and boys. Self-administered salivary samples from 79 girls and 42 boys were collected during two schooldays at four timepoints: (a) immediately at awakening, (b) 30 min after waking up, (c) 60 min after waking up, and (d) at 8:00 p.m. Additionally, diary data including time of awakening, sampling times, and other potential confounders were analyzed. As for single measures, both girls and boys exhibited a typical diurnal cortisol profile with high levels in the morning that decreased throughout the day. However, girls had higher morning cortisol than did boys with significant differences at time of awakening, and at 30 and 60 min postawakening. For the aggregate measures, girls had a larger total level of cortisol in terms of cortisol awakening response (CARG ), area under the curve (AUCG ), and rise over run (slopeawake to last ), while no differences emerged for reactivity measures. Taken together, these findings suggest differences in single and aggregate cortisol measures between midadolescent girls and boys. Such differences in diurnal cortisol between pubertal girls and boys may play a role for the differential health trajectories typically found among adult women and men.

  1. Cortisol - urine

    MedlinePlus

    ... the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol Hypopituitarism in which the pituitary gland does not signal ... Cushing syndrome Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor Hypopituitarism Review Date 10/28/2015 Updated by: Brent ...

  2. Cortisol level

    MedlinePlus

    ... the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol Hypopituitarism , in which the pituitary gland does not signal ... disease Cushing disease Cushing syndrome Ectopic Cushing syndrome Hypopituitarism Review Date 10/28/2015 Updated by: Brent ...

  3. Sexually dimorphic adaptations in basal maternal stress physiology during pregnancy and implications for fetal development.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, Gerald F; Campbell, Tavis; Letourneau, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    There is clear evidence of reciprocal exchange of information between the mother and fetus during pregnancy but the majority of research in this area has focussed on the fetus as a recipient of signals from the mother. Specifically, physiological signals produced by the maternal stress systems in response to the environment may carry valuable information about the state of the external world. Prenatal stress produces sex-specific adaptations within fetal physiology that have pervasive and long-lasting effects on development. Little is known, however, about the effects of sex-specific fetal signals on maternal adaptations to pregnancy. The current prospective study examined sexually dimorphic adaptations within maternal stress physiology, including the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and associations with fetal growth. Using diurnal suites of saliva collected in early and late pregnancy, we demonstrate that basal cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) differ by fetal sex. Women carrying female fetuses displayed greater autonomic arousal and flatter (but more elevated) diurnal cortisol patterns compared to women carrying males. Women with flatter daytime cortisol trajectories and more blunted sAA awakening responses also had infants with lower birth weight. These maternal adaptations are consistent with sexually dimorphic fetal developmental/evolutionary adaptation strategies that favor growth for males and conservation of resources for females. The findings provide new evidence to suggest that the fetus contributes to maternal HPA axis and ANS regulation during pregnancy and that these systems also contribute to the regulation of fetal growth.

  4. Cortisol stress responses and children's behavioral functioning at school

    PubMed Central

    Cillessen, Antonius H.N.; de Weerth, Carolina

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated whether cortisol stress responses of 6‐year‐olds were associated with their behavioral functioning at school. Additionally, the moderating role of stress in the family environment was examined. To this end, 149 healthy children (M age = 6.09 years; 70 girls) participated in an age‐appropriate innovative social evaluative stress test. Saliva cortisol samples were collected six times during the stress test to calculate two indices of the cortisol stress response: cortisol stress reactivity and total stress cortisol. Teachers assessed children's internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors. Stress in the family environment was operationalized as maternally reported parenting stress. Results indicated a significant increase in cortisol concentrations in response to the stressor. No significant associations were found between cortisol stress responses and behavioral functioning at school and there was no evidence for moderation by maternal parenting stress. Potential theoretical and methodological explanations for these results are discussed. PMID:27774583

  5. Cancer-related fatigue shows a stable association with diurnal cortisol dysregulation in breast cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Martina E; Semik, Johanna; Habermann, Nina; Wiskemann, Joachim; Ulrich, Cornelia M; Steindorf, Karen

    2016-02-01

    Fatigue is a major burden for breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant therapy. Yet, its pathophysiology is still not well understood. Hypothesized mechanisms include dysregulations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which may be reflected in alterations in the diurnal cortisol patterns. However, studies on the association between cortisol and fatigue during adjuvant cancer therapy are rare. We therefore assessed salivary cortisol at awakening, 0.5h post-awakening, noon, 5 pm and 10 pm/bedtime in 265 breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant therapy at three timepoints. Cancer-related fatigue was assessed with the Fatigue Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ) covering the physical, affective, and cognitive fatigue dimensions. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed cross-sectionally at the three timepoints as well as longitudinally considering changes in cortisol and fatigue over time. The results showed that the physical dimension of cancer-related fatigue was significantly associated with increased evening cortisol levels and higher overall cortisol secretion. These associations were independent of depressive symptoms. Morning cortisol levels, the cortisol awakening response and the diurnal slope were not consistently associated with physical fatigue. Affective and cognitive fatigue showed no clear association with any of the cortisol parameters. In conclusion, the physical but not the affective or cognitive dimension of fatigue seems associated with cortisol dysregulations in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant therapy, characterized by an unaffected cortisol level in the morning but blunted decline to the evening level. Research focusing on disturbances of the cortisol rhythm and HPA dysregulations during and after cancer treatment may open new strategies to reduce cancer-related fatigue.

  6. The effect of escitalopram versus placebo on perceived stress and salivary cortisol in healthy first-degree relatives of patients with depression-A randomised trial.

    PubMed

    Knorr, Ulla; Vinberg, Maj; Gether, Ulrik; Winkel, Per; Gluud, Christian; Wetterslev, Jørn; Kessing, Lars Vedel

    2012-12-30

    The effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) on healthy individuals remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that escitalopram decreases perceived stress and salivary cortisol. The trial has a randomised, blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-group design. After informed consent 80 healthy first-degree relatives to patients with depression were randomly allocated to receive daily tablets of escitalopram 10mg or placebo for 4 weeks. The area under the curve (AUC) for awakening and all day salivary cortisol was analysed in samples taken immediately after awakening and at 15-min intervals for the next hour, and at 12:00, 18:00 and 23:00. The salivary cortisol awakening response, all day salivary cortisol, and scale scores on sleep, pain, aggression, quality of life, and perceived stress assessed at entry were compared to values following 4 weeks of intervention. Statistically significant decreases were found in awakening salivary cortisol (P=0.04) and in all day salivary cortisol (P=0.02) in the escitalopram group compared with the placebo group. There were no statistically significant differences in perceived stress between the intervention groups. These findings from a randomised clinical trial suggest that a long-term escitalopram administration to healthy participants results in a decrease in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity measured by salivary cortisol compared with inert placebo. However, change in salivary cortisol was one out of multiple outcome measures. The results of the present trial do not refute salivary cortisol as a potential endophenotype for depression.

  7. Hair cortisol and cognitive performance in healthy older people.

    PubMed

    Pulopulos, Matias M; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Almela, Mercedes; Puig-Perez, Sara; Villada, Carolina; Salvador, Alicia

    2014-06-01

    Worse cognitive performance in older people has been associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation (in particular, higher cortisol levels). Analysis of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) is a novel method to measure long-term cortisol exposure, and its relationship with cognition in healthy older people has not yet been studied. We investigated whether HCC (measured in hair scalp) and diurnal salivary cortisol levels (awakening, 30min after awakening, and evening, across two days) were related to cognitive performance (assessed with the Trail-making Test A and B, Digit Span Forward and Backward, word list-RAVLT and Stories subtest of the Rivermead) in 57 healthy older people (mean age=64.75 years, SD=4.17). Results showed that lower HCC were consistently related to worse working memory, learning, short-term verbal memory (RAVLT first trial and immediate recall) and long-term verbal memory. In contrast, higher mean levels and higher diurnal area under the curve of diurnal salivary cortisol were related to worse attention and short-term verbal memory (immediate story recall), respectively. Interestingly, a higher ratio of mean levels of diurnal salivary cortisol over HCC were related to worse performance on working memory and short-term verbal memory, suggesting that those individuals with lower long-term cortisol exposure might be more vulnerable to the negative effect of HPA-axis dysregulation on these cognitive processes. Our findings suggest that both low long-term cortisol exposure and a possible dysregulation of the diurnal rhythm of the HPA-axis may account, at least in part, for the inter-individual variability in cognitive performance in healthy older people.

  8. Transactions among adolescent trait and state emotion and diurnal and momentary cortisol activity in naturalistic settings.

    PubMed

    Adam, Emma K

    2006-06-01

    In a community sample of 52 adolescents, multilevel growth curve modeling was utilized to examine whether within-person changes in momentary mood states, and individual differences in trait emotional functioning, were related to adolescent cortisol levels in naturalistic settings. Salivary cortisol levels were measured seven times a day on two typical weekdays in conjunction with diary reports of adolescent mood states. Questionnaire reports of trait emotional functioning (depression, anxiety, and anger) were obtained, as were reports of demographic, developmental, and health control variables. After accounting for the effects of time of day and a wide range of control variables, within-person increases in state negative mood (worry/stress and anger/frustration) were significantly associated with within-person increases in cortisol. When examining trait emotional functioning, adolescents with higher levels of depressive symptoms had slightly lower basal cortisol levels, and adolescents with higher levels of trait anger had a significantly stronger cortisol response to awakening. Several developmental effects were found-adolescents at higher stages of pubertal development had daytime basal cortisol curves that were more elevated, had a steeper diurnal decline, and showed a lesser cortisol awakening response, and cortisol responses to worry/stress increased with age. Cortisol levels were also higher at moments adolescents were alone rather than with others, an effect that declined significantly with age. Cortisol levels were also higher at moments adolescents were alone rather than with others, an effect that declined significantly with age. Results suggest that ongoing transactions occur between adolescents' everyday emotional experiences and their cortisol levels, and that adolescent cortisol activity is modified by age/pubertal stage and by trait emotional functioning.

  9. Violence exposure and cortisol responses in urban youth.

    PubMed

    Kliewer, Wendy

    2006-01-01

    I examined the physiological costs associated with exposure to violence in 101 African American youth (55% male; M age = 11.14 years) living in high-violence areas of a midsized southern city in the United States. Salivary cortisol was measured before and after a laboratory task (viewing and discussing a video depicting community violence) and on waking 1 morning in the week following the laboratory assessment. Overall, cortisol levels were low. Analyses controlling for age, gender, negative affect, and major life events revealed that peer victimization was associated with lower basal cortisol values obtained from home assessments. Witnessed violence predicted a cortisol awakening response (CAR) but only in girls; girls with a typical CAR had lower levels of witnessing violence than girls with an atypical pattern. Witnessed violence also was associated with lower baseline cortisol levels measured in the laboratory and with increases in cortisol from baseline to posttask for boys but not girls. Peer victimization was associated with increases in cortisol from pretask to posttask for both genders. I discuss implications for research and prevention.

  10. Social isolation and diurnal cortisol patterns in an ageing cohort☆

    PubMed Central

    Stafford, Mai; Gardner, Mike; Kumari, Meena; Kuh, Diana; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav

    2013-01-01

    Summary Background Social isolation may operate as a psychosocial stressor which disrupts functioning of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical axis. Methods Using data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, we tested whether living alone, not being married and social network size were associated with diurnal cortisol patterns at 60–64 years. We hypothesised that recent onset compared with long-term isolation would be more strongly associated with cortisol awakening response, cortisol decline over the day and evening cortisol. Models were adjusted for sex, smoking, body mass index, alcohol intake, psychological distress and financial difficulties. Results Those widowed within the last three years had a 36% (95%CI 6%, 73%) higher night time cortisol than those who were currently married. Those newly living alone also had a higher night time cortisol and flatter diurnal slope than those living with others. Conclusion Independently of multiple behavioural and psychosocial correlates, recent onset of social isolation is related to diurnal cortisol patterns that increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. PMID:23920224

  11. Work stress models and diurnal cortisol variations: The SALVEO study.

    PubMed

    Marchand, Alain; Juster, Robert-Paul; Durand, Pierre; Lupien, Sonia J

    2016-04-01

    The objective of this study was to assess components, subscales, and interactions proposed by the popular Job Demand-Control (JDC), Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS), and Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) work stress models in relation to diurnal variation of the stress hormone cortisol. Participants included 401 day-shift workers employed from a random sampling of 34 Canadian workplaces. Questionnaires included the Job Content Questionnaire to measure psychological demands, decision latitude, and social support as well as the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire to measure effort, reward, and overcommitment. Salivary cortisol was collected on 2 working days at awaking, +30 min after awaking, 1400h, 1600h, and bedtime. Multilevel regressions with 3 levels (time of day, workers, workplaces) were performed. Results revealed that JDC, JDCS and ERI interactions were not statistically associated with variations in diurnal cortisol concentrations. By contrast when assessing specific work stress subscales, increased psychological demands were linked to decreased bedtime cortisol, increased job recognition was linked to increased cortisol +30 min after waking and at bedtime, and finally increased overcommitment was linked to increased awakening cortisol and decreased cortisol at 1400h, 1600h, and bedtime. Sex moderation effects principally among men were additionally detected for psychological demands, total social support, and supervisor support. Our findings suggest that components and subsubscales of these popular work stress models rather than theorized interactions are more meaningful in explaining diurnal cortisol variations. In particular, psychological demands, job recognition, overcommitment, and to a lesser extent social support at work are the most significant predictors of diurnal cortisol variation in this large sample of Canadian workers. Importantly, the overall effect sizes of these subscales that explained diurnal cortisol concentrations were weak.

  12. Diurnal patterns of salivary cortisol and DHEA using a novel collection device: Electronic monitoring confirms accurate recording of collection time using this device

    PubMed Central

    Laudenslager, Mark L.; Calderone, Jacqueline; Philips, Sam; Natvig, Crystal; Carlson, Nichole E.

    2013-01-01

    The accurate indication of saliva collection time is important for defining the diurnal decline in salivary cortisol as well as characterizing the cortisol awakening response.. We tested a convenient and novel collection device for collecting saliva on strips of filter paper in a specially constructed booklet for determination of both cortisol and DHEA. In the present study, 31 healthy adults (mean age 43.5 yrs.) collected saliva samples four times a day on three consecutive days using filter paper collection devices (Saliva Procurement and Integrated Testing (SPIT) booklet) which were maintained during the collection period in a large plastic bottle with an electronic monitoring cap. Subjects were asked to collect saliva samples at awakening, 30 min. after awakening, before lunch and 600 min. after awakening. The time of awakening and the time of collection before lunch were allowed to vary by each subjects’ schedule. A reliable relationship was observed between the time recorded by the subject directly on the booklet and the time recorded by electronic collection device (n = 286 observations; r2 = 0.98). However, subjects did not consistently collect the saliva samples at the two specific times requested, 30 and 600 min. after awakening. Both cortisol and DHEA revealed diurnal declines.. In spite of variance in collection times at 30 min. and 600 min. after awakening, the slope of the diurnal decline in both salivary cortisol and DHEA were similar when we compared collection tolerances of ± 7.5 and ± 15 min. for each steroid.. These unique collection booklets proved to be a reliable method for recording collection times by subjects as well as for estimating diurnal salivary cortisol and DHEA patterns. PMID:23490073

  13. Day-to-Day Dynamics of Associations between Sleep, Napping, Fatigue and the Cortisol Diurnal Rhythm in Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tell, Dina; Mathews, Herbert L.; Janusek, Linda Witek

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVES To examine whether day-to-day variations in sleep behaviors, ongoing sleep disturbance and fatigue predict the cortisol diurnal rhythm in women recently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Methods Women (N=130, age=55. 6±9.4 years) collected saliva 5×/day/2 days for cortisol. Diaries were used to assess prior-day nap duration, nocturnal awakenings, sleep latency, and morning restfulness. Ongoing fatigue and sleep disturbance were measured using the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory and the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Inventory. Data were analyzed using multilevel growth curve modeling. Results Greater ongoing fatigue (b=0.035, p = .032), or sleep disturbance (b=0.026, p = .006) predicted a slower cortisol decline. Greater ongoing fatigue also predicted higher awakening cortisol (b=0.154, p = .030) and lower cortisol awakening response (CAR) (b=−0.146, p = .005). Longer prior-day naps predicted higher CAR (b=0.042, p=.050), and a steeper cortisol decline (b=−0.035, p = .003). Longer sleep latency predicted both a greater cortisol linear decline (b=−0.013, p < .001), and a greater quadratic slope curvature (b=0.0007, p < .001). Feeling less rested in the morning predicted lower awakening cortisol (b=−0.187, p= .004), higher CAR (b=0.124, p=.016) and a slower cortisol decline (b=0.023, p=.042). CONCLUSIONS Both daily variations in sleep behaviors and ongoing sleep disturbance and fatigue associated with a disrupted cortisol rhythm. In contrast, prior-day napping associated with a more robust cortisol rhythm. These findings are particularly relevant to women with breast cancer who often experience sleep disturbance and fatigue. Additional research is needed to determine causal pathways between sleep disturbance and dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with breast cancer. PMID:25186656

  14. Cortisol level measurements in fingernails as a retrospective index of hormone production.

    PubMed

    Izawa, Shuhei; Miki, Keiichi; Tsuchiya, Masao; Mitani, Takeshi; Midorikawa, Toru; Fuchu, Tatsuya; Komatsu, Taiki; Togo, Fumiharu

    2015-04-01

    The cortisol level in fingernails may reflect the hormone's cumulative production over a long period, but the notions have not been fully established. In this study, we investigated the association of cortisol in fingernails with cortisol accumulation over a long period (hair cortisol) and over a relatively short period (salivary cortisol). In study 1, hair and fingernail samples were collected from 58 middle-aged and elderly men. The cortisol level in hair samples was moderately associated with the level in fingernail samples (r = 0.29, p < 0.05 and rs = 0.36, p < 0.01). In study 2, 37 workers provided 4 saliva samples over the course of one day (at awakening, 30 min after awakening, before lunch, and after work) and another set a month later. Further, the workers were asked to provide fingernail samples during a six-month period. We found that the cortisol level in saliva over the whole day (area under the curve for cortisol) was moderately associated with the cortisol level measured in fingernail samples that were collected 4 months (r = 0.43, p < 0.05 and rs = 0.50, p < 0.01) and 5 months later (r = 0.45, p < 0.05 and rs = 0.53, p < 0.01). These results indicated that the cortisol level in fingernail samples might retrospectively represent hormone production during a given period. The cortisol level in fingernail samples may be useful in the investigation of the link between psychosocial stress and health.

  15. Diurnal profiles of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase change across the adult lifespan: evidence from repeated daily life assessments.

    PubMed

    Nater, Urs M; Hoppmann, Christiane A; Scott, Stacey B

    2013-12-01

    Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase are known to have distinctive diurnal profiles. However, little is known about systematic changes in these biomarkers across the adult lifespan. In a study of 185 participants (aged 20-81 years), time-stamped salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase were collected 7 times/day over 10 days. Samples were taken upon waking, 30 min later, and then approximately every 3 h until 9 pm. Multilevel models showed that older age was associated with increased daily cortisol secretion as indicated by greater area under the curve, attenuated wake-evening slopes, and more pronounced cortisol awakening responses. Further, older age was related to greater daily alpha-amylase output and attenuated wake-evening slopes. No age differences were observed regarding the alpha-amylase awakening response. Our findings may contribute to a better understanding of age-related differences in functioning of stress-related systems.

  16. Relationship functioning and home and work demands predict individual differences in diurnal cortisol patterns in women.

    PubMed

    Adam, E K; Gunnar, M R

    2001-02-01

    In 70 middle-class mothers of 2-year-old children, individual differences in mothers' morning cortisol levels, cortisol decreases across the day and average cortisol levels were predicted from demographic and medical control variables, maternal relationship functioning and home and work demands. For two days, salivary cortisol levels were measured in the morning immediately after wakeup, four times in the afternoon, and in the evening immediately prior to bedtime. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) growth curve analyses were used to estimate the intercept (early morning level), slope (steepness of decline in cortisol values across the day), and the average height of each mother's cortisol curve across the waking hours. HLM and multiple regression techniques were then used to predict individual differences in these parameters from the variables of interest. Time of day accounted for 72% of the variation in mothers' observed cortisol values across the day. After controlling for demographic and medical variables, positive relationship functioning was associated with higher morning cortisol levels and a steeper decline in cortisol across the day, while greater hours of maternal employment and a greater number of children in the household were associated with lower morning cortisol values and a less steep decline in cortisol levels across the day. Variables predicting higher morning values also predicted higher average cortisol levels, while variables predicting lower morning cortisol predicted lower average cortisol levels. The full model including selected control, relationship functioning and home and work demand variables accounted for 40% of the variance in mothers' morning cortisol values, 43% of the variance in cortisol slopes and 35% of the variability in mothers' average cortisol levels. This study presents the first evidence of associations between psychological variables and individual differences in the organization of cortisol levels across the waking day

  17. Inconsolable night-time awakening: beyond night terrors.

    PubMed

    Snyder, David M; Goodlin-Jones, Beth L; Pionk, Mary Jane; Stein, Martin T

    2008-08-01

    Sophia is a 3-year-old girl who was brought to her pediatrician by her parents who were concerned about inconsolable night-time awakening. Her mother indicated that she has frequent (>6), early nocturnal awakenings accompanied by screaming and crying lasting up to 1 hour since her birth. These episodes increased in intensity and frequency in the past year since the birth of her brother. With a bedtime routine (a cup of water by bedside with a washcloth and touching mother's nose, chin, and cheeks), Sophia falls asleep easily; however, within 1 hour she awakes screaming and flailing unaware of her surroundings and unable to be comforted. There are no tonic-clonic movements. Prior interventions, including a sleep coach and "letting Sophia cry it out," did not change her sleep pattern. Sophia's mother reports that she needs to be on a specific daily routine including set times for awakening, activity, snacks, naps, and meals. Diversion from the routine and separation from her mother results in a tantrum (kicking, hitting, screaming, and inconsolability) often lasting more than 30 minutes. Sophia was born after an uncomplicated 37-week gestation. Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia required readmission for 24 hours of phototherapy; serum bilirubin levels were performed daily for 3 weeks after discharge. At 6 weeks, daily episodes of screaming, inconsolability, forceful vomiting, and inability to sleep led to a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux. Medication trials were not successful, but the symptoms resolved by 5 months. Formula intolerance and difficulty swallowing and chewing different textures of solid food occurred in the first year. Occupational therapy was of "no benefit"; Sophia was overwhelmed by the activity and took a long time to warm up to the therapist. Her texture aversion resolved by 2 years of age. She prefers one-on-one play and has minimal interactions with other children. She has met all her developmental milestones appropriately and has no other health

  18. Reduced Cortisol in Boys with Early-Onset Conduct Disorder and Callous-Unemotional Traits

    PubMed Central

    von Polier, Georg G.; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Wiesler, Kristine; Rieke, Jana; Heinzel-Gutenbrunner, Monika; Bachmann, Christian J.; Vloet, Timo D.

    2013-01-01

    Background. A growing body of evidence suggests an association between altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity and the development of persistent antisocial behavior in children. However the effects of altered cortisol levels remain poorly understood in the complex context of conduct disorder, callous-unemotional (CU) personality traits, and frequent comorbidities, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of the current study was to investigate associations among CU traits, antisocial behavior, and comorbid ADHD symptomatology with cortisol levels in male children and adolescents. Methods. The study included 37 boys with early-onset conduct disorder (EO-CD, mean age 11.9 years) and 38 healthy boys (mean age 12.5 years). Participants were subjected to multiple daytime salivary cortisol measurements and a psychometric characterization. Results. Subjects in the EO-CD group with elevated CU traits showed a diminished cortisol awakening response compared to healthy participants. In the EO-CD group, high CU traits and impulsivity were associated with decreased diurnal cortisol levels, while associations with antisocial behavior were not detected. The cortisol awakening response was significantly inversely associated with hyperactivity (P = 0.02) and marginally significant with CU traits (P = 0.07). Conclusions. These results indicate a specific association between CU traits and a diminished stress response, which is not explained by antisocial behavior in general. PMID:23841064

  19. Developmental histories of perceived racial discrimination and diurnal cortisol profiles in adulthood: A 20-year prospective study.

    PubMed

    Adam, Emma K; Heissel, Jennifer A; Zeiders, Katharine H; Richeson, Jennifer A; Ross, Emily C; Ehrlich, Katherine B; Levy, Dorainne J; Kemeny, Margaret; Brodish, Amanda B; Malanchuk, Oksana; Peck, Stephen C; Fuller-Rowell, Thomas E; Eccles, Jacquelynne S

    2015-12-01

    Perceived racial discrimination (PRD) has been associated with altered diurnal cortisol rhythms in past cross-sectional research. We investigate whether developmental histories of PRD, assessed prospectively, are associated with adult diurnal cortisol profiles. One-hundred and twelve (N=50 Black, N=62 White) adults from the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study provided saliva samples in adulthood (at approximately age 32 years) at waking, 30min after waking, and at bedtime for 7 days. Diurnal cortisol measures were calculated, including waking cortisol levels, diurnal cortisol slopes, the cortisol awakening response (CAR), and average daily cortisol (AUC). These cortisol outcomes were predicted from measures of PRD obtained over a 20-year period beginning when individuals were in 7th grade (approximately age 12). Greater average PRD measured across the 20-year period predicted flatter adult diurnal cortisol slopes for both Black and White adults, and a lower CAR. Greater average PRD also predicted lower waking cortisol for Black, but not White adults. PRD experiences in adolescence accounted for many of these effects. When adolescent and young adult PRD are entered together predicting cortisol outcomes, PRD experiences in adolescence (but not young adulthood) significantly predicted flatter diurnal cortisol slopes for both Black and White adults. Adolescent, but not young adult PRD, also significantly predicted lower waking and lower average cortisol for Black adults. Young adult PRD was, however, a stronger predictor of the CAR, predicting a marginally lower CAR for Whites, and a significantly larger CAR for Blacks. Effects were robust to controlling for covariates including health behaviors, depression, income and parent education levels. PRD experiences interacted with parent education and income to predict aspects of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. Although these results suggest PRD influences on cortisol for both Blacks and Whites, the key findings

  20. Neuroticism and Introversion are Associated with Salivary Cortisol Patterns in Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Hauner, Katherina K. Y.; Adam, Emma K.; Mineka, Susan; Doane, Leah D.; DeSantis, Amy S.; Zinbarg, Richard; Craske, Michelle; Griffith, James W.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have yielded equivocal findings on the relationship between personality and cortisol activity. The present study examined associations between personality and cortisol activity in a large, diverse adolescent sample, while partialling the effects of relevant demographic and health-related covariates. A subsample of 230 participants (57% of whom reported elevated neuroticism) was selected from a larger sample of 16- to 18-year-olds involved in a study on risk factors for emotional disorders. Subsample participants completed a battery of personality questionnaires, and saliva collection was requested several months later on three consecutive days at six time points per day, from wakeup to bedtime. Associations between personality and cortisol rhythms were examined using multilevel growth curve modeling. Neuroticism (N) and introversion (I) were significantly and differentially associated with features of diurnal cortisol patterns. Specifically, a significant N by gender interaction was observed, demonstrating flatter cortisol rhythms across the waking day among male participants with higher N. Elevated I, however, was associated with lower cortisol awakening responses for both male and female participants, and higher cortisol at the time of waking for male participants only. The present study supports personality as a significant predictor of diurnal cortisol patterns in late adolescence, after accounting for the effects of demographic and health covariates, and suggests that gender plays a role in moderating associations between personality and cortisol. PMID:18809259

  1. Prenatal Maternal Stress Programs Infant Stress Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Elysia Poggi; Glynn, Laura M.; Waffarn, Feizal; Sandman, Curt A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Prenatal exposure to inappropriate levels of glucocorticoids (GCs) and maternal stress are putative mechanisms for the fetal programming of later health outcomes. The current investigation examined the influence of prenatal maternal cortisol and maternal psychosocial stress on infant physiological and behavioral responses to stress.…

  2. Dysregulated diurnal cortisol pattern is associated with glucocorticoid resistance in women with major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Jarcho, Michael R; Slavich, George M; Tylova-Stein, Hana; Wolkowitz, Owen M; Burke, Heather M

    2013-04-01

    Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is believed to play a role in the pathophysiology of depression. To investigate mechanisms that may underlie this effect, we examined several indices of HPA axis function - specifically, diurnal cortisol slope, cortisol awakening response, and suppression of cortisol release following dexamethasone administration - in 26 pre-menopausal depressed women and 23 never depressed women who were matched for age and body mass index. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at waking, 30 min after waking, and at bedtime over three consecutive days. On the third day, immediately after the bedtime sample, participants ingested a 0.5mg dexamethasone tablet; they then collected cortisol samples at waking and 30 min after waking the following morning. As predicted, depressed women exhibited flatter diurnal cortisol rhythms and more impaired suppression of cortisol following dexamethasone administration than non-depressed women over the three sampling days. In addition, flatter diurnal cortisol slopes were associated with reduced cortisol response to dexamethasone treatment, both for all women and for depressed women when considered separately. Finally, greater self-reported depression severity was associated with flatter diurnal cortisol slopes and with less dexamethasone-related cortisol suppression for depressed women. Depression in women thus appears to be characterized by altered HPA axis functioning, as indexed by flatter diurnal cortisol slopes and an associated impaired sensitivity of cortisol to dexamethasone. Given that altered HPA axis functioning has been implicated in several somatic conditions, the present findings may be relevant for understanding the pathophysiology of both depression and depression-related physical disease.

  3. Cortisol coregulation in fish

    PubMed Central

    Fürtbauer, Ines; Heistermann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Cortisol coregulation, which is the up- or down-regulation of partners’ physiological stress responses, has been described for individuals with strong attachment bonds, e.g. parents and their children, and romantic relationship partners. Research into moderating effects on cortisol coregulation suggests stronger covariation among distressed partners. Whether cortisol coregulation is unique to humans or can also be found in other species that share universal features of the vertebrate stress response remains unexplored. Using a repeated measures approach and non-invasive waterborne hormone analysis, we test the hypothesis that dyads of three-spined stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) coregulate their cortisol levels in shared environments. Dyadic cortisol levels were unrelated when cohabiting (home tank), but significantly covaried when sharing a more stressful (as indicated by higher cortisol levels) environment (open field). Time-lag analysis further revealed that open field cortisol levels were predicted by partner’s cortisol levels prior to the shared experience. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence for coregulatory processes on cortisol responses in a non-human animal that lacks strong bonds and social attachment relationships, suggesting a shared evolutionary origin of cortisol coregulation in vertebrates. From an adaptive perspective, cortisol coregulation may serve to reduce risk in challenging, potentially threatening situations. PMID:27458063

  4. Comparison of the transplacental pharmacokinetics of cortisol and triamcinolone acetonide in the rhesus monkey

    SciTech Connect

    Slikker, W. Jr.; Althaus, Z.R.; Rowland, J.M.; Hill, D.E.; Hendrickx, A.G.

    1982-11-01

    The late gestational age rhesus monkey was used to study the transplacental pharmacokinetics of radiolabeled triamcinolone acetonide (TAC) and cortisol. Tritiated-TAC and (/sup 14/C)cortisol were administered simultaneously via the maternal radial vein were administered simultaneously via the maternal radial vein and blood samples were serially drawn from catheters implanted in both the maternal femoral artery and fetal umbilical vein and artery. High-performance liquid chromatography of the processed blood samples revealed that from 93 to 100% of the /sup 3/H in the fetal circulation was parent TAC, whereas only 14 to 49% of the /sup 14/C was cortisol during the 40-min period after dose administration. Fetal tissue samples taken at 3 hr after dose administration showed that 75 to 96% of the /sup 3/H present was TAC, whereas no cortisol was observed. TAC demonstrated dose-independent kinetics. Samples collected from the umbilical vein of the in situ placenta after fetectomy revealed that cortisol was extensively converted to cortisone by the placenta, whereas TAC was refractory to placental metabolism. This placental conversion of cortisol to cortisone and the further metabolism and conjugation of cortisol by the fetoplacental unit resulted in a fetal to maternal plasma cortisol ratio of 0.2. In contrast, the lack of placental or fetoplacental metabolism of TAC resulted in a fetal to maternal plasma TAC ratio of 0.6.

  5. Negative emotionality, depressive symptoms and cortisol diurnal rhythms: analysis of a community sample of middle-aged males.

    PubMed

    Doane, Leah D; Franz, Carol E; Prom-Wormley, Elizabeth; Eaves, Lindon J; Mendoza, Sally P; Hellhammer, Dirk H; Lupien, Sonia; Xian, Hong; Lyons, Michael J; Kremen, William; Jacobson, Kristen C

    2011-07-01

    Prior research suggests that individuals with particular personality traits, like negative emotionality, are at greater risk for adverse health outcomes. Despite bivariate associations between negative emotionality, depressive symptoms and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis), few studies have sought to understand the biological pathways through which negative emotionality, depressive symptomatology and cortisol-one of the primary hormonal products of the HPA axis--are associated. The present study explored whether negative emotionality influenced cortisol dysregulation through current depressive symptomatology and whether negative emotionality served as a moderator of the relationship between depressive symptoms and cortisol. In the community-based Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, 783 male twins completed two days of cortisol saliva sampling in their natural environments. Three measures of cortisol were analyzed: waking levels, the cortisol awakening response, and the peak to bed slope. Depressive symptoms significantly mediated the associations between negative emotionality and the peak to bed slope. A 2-way interaction between depressive symptoms and negative emotionality was significant for the peak to bed slope and for waking levels of cortisol. Exploration of the interactions illustrated that depressive symptoms only affected cortisol slopes at average or high levels of negative emotionality and only affected waking levels at low levels of negative emotionality. Negative emotionality and depressive symptoms were not related to the cortisol awakening response. This is the first study to find indirect associations between negative emotionality and peak to bed cortisol slopes through depressive symptoms. These findings illustrate the complex interplay between personality characteristics, depressive symptoms and different indices of the cortisol diurnal rhythm.

  6. Negative Emotionality, Depressive Symptoms and Cortisol Diurnal Rhythms: Analysis of a Community Sample of Middle-Aged Males

    PubMed Central

    Doane, Leah D.; Franz, Carol E.; Prom-Wormley, Elizabeth; Eaves, Lindon J.; Mendoza, Sally P.; Hellhammer, Dirk H.; Lupien, Sonia; Xian, Hong; Lyons, Michael J.; Kremen, William; Jacobson, Kristen C.

    2011-01-01

    Prior research suggests that individuals with particular personality traits, like negative emotionality, are at greater risk for adverse health outcomes. Despite bivariate associations between negative emotionality, depressive symptoms and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis), few studies have sought to understand the biological pathways through which negative emotionality, depressive symptomology and cortisol--one of the primary hormonal products of the HPA axis--are associated. The present study explored whether negative emotionality influenced cortisol dysregulation through current depressive symptomatology and whether negative emotionality served as a moderator of the relationship between depressive symptoms and cortisol. In the community-based Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, 783 male twins completed two days of cortisol saliva sampling in their natural environments. Three measures of cortisol were analyzed: waking levels, the cortisol awakening response, and the peak to bed slope. Depressive symptoms significantly mediated the associations between negative emotionality and the peak to bed slope. A 2-way interaction between depressive symptoms and negative emotionality was significant for the peak to bed slope and for waking levels of cortisol. Exploration of the interactions illustrated that depressive symptoms only affected cortisol slopes at average or high levels of negative emotionality and only affected waking levels at low levels of negative emotionality. Negative emotionality and depressive symptoms were not related to the cortisol awakening response. This is the first study to find indirect associations between negative emotionality and peak to bed cortisol slopes through depressive symptoms. These findings illustrate the complex interplay between personality characteristics, depressive symptoms and different indices of the cortisol diurnal rhythm. PMID:21619882

  7. Circulating angiogenic cell function is inhibited by cortisol in vitro and associated with psychological stress and cortisol in vivo.

    PubMed

    Aschbacher, Kirstin; Derakhshandeh, Ronak; Flores, Abdiel J; Narayan, Shilpa; Mendes, Wendy Berry; Springer, Matthew L

    2016-05-01

    Psychological stress and glucocorticoids are associated with heightened cardiovascular disease risk. We investigated whether stress or cortisol would be associated with reduced circulating angiogenic cell (CAC) function, an index of impaired vascular repair. We hypothesized that minority-race individuals who experience threat in interracial interactions would exhibit reduced CAC function, and that this link might be explained by cortisol. To test this experimentally, we recruited 106 African American participants for a laboratory interracial interaction task, in which they received socially evaluative feedback from Caucasian confederates. On a separate day, a subset of 32 participants (mean age=26years, 47% female) enrolled in a separate biological substudy and provided blood samples for CAC isolation and salivary samples to quantify the morning peak in cortisol (the cortisol awakening response, CAR). CAC function was quantified using cell culture assays of migration to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and secretion of VEGF into the culture medium. Heightened threat in response to an interracial interaction and trait anxiety in vivo were both associated with poorer CAC migratory function in vitro. Further, threat and poorer sustained attention during the interracial interaction were associated with a higher CAR, which in turn, was related to lower CAC sensitivity to glucocorticoids. In vitro, higher doses of cortisol impaired CAC migratory function and VEGF protein secretion. The glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486 reversed this functional impairment. These data identify a novel, neuroendocrine pathway by which psychological stress may reduce CAC function, with potential implications for cardiovascular health.

  8. Associations between bedtime and nighttime parenting and infant cortisol in the first year.

    PubMed

    Philbrook, Lauren E; Teti, Douglas M

    2016-12-01

    We examined how maternal care within the bedtime and nighttime contexts influences infant cortisol levels and patterning. Eighty-two mothers (Mage  = 29.4 years) and infants participated in a longitudinal study when infants were 3, 6, and 9 months old. At each time point, bedtime and nighttime parenting were recorded and infant cortisol at bedtime and the following morning was analyzed. Multilevel model analyses showed that infants had lower cortisol levels when mothers were more emotionally available at bedtime, and infants whose mothers responded more often to their non-distressed cues had lower cortisol levels on average. Less co-sleeping and more maternal responses to infant distress were linked to healthier cortisol patterning. By shedding light on parenting qualities and behaviors that influence infant cortisol, these results indicate avenues for intervention and suggest the utility of studying parenting in infant sleep contexts.

  9. Cross-Country Differences in Basal and Stress-Induced Cortisol Secretion in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Lupien, Sonia J.; Fiocco, Alexandra; Suchecki, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Objective Several studies have emphasized the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and inadequate response of the biological stress system. However, other factors related to SES are rarely considered, such as cultural values, social norms, organization, language and communication skills, which raises the need to investigate cross-country differences in stress response. Although some studies have shown differences in cortisol levels between immigrants and natives, there is no cross-country evidence regarding cortisol levels in country-native elders. This is particularly important given the high prevalence of stress-related disorders across nations during aging. The current study examined basal diurnal and reactive cortisol levels in healthy older adults living in two different countries. Methods Salivary cortisol of 260 older adults from Canada and Brazil were nalyzed. Diurnal cortisol was measured in saliva samples collected at home throughout two working days at awakening, 30 min after waking, 1400 h, 1600 h and before bedtime. Cortisol reactivity was assessed in response to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in both populations. Results Our results showed that even under similar health status, psychological and cognitive characteristics, Brazilian elders exhibited higher basal and stress-induced cortisol secretion compared to the Canadian participants. Conclusion These findings suggest that country context may modulate cortisol secretion and could impact the population health. PMID:25153322

  10. Cortisol and finfish welfare.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Tim; Yildiz, Hijran Yavuzcan; López-Olmeda, Jose; Spedicato, Maria Teresa; Tort, Lluis; Øverli, Øyvind; Martins, Catarina I M

    2012-02-01

    Previous reviews of stress, and the stress hormone cortisol, in fish have focussed on physiology, due to interest in impacts on aquaculture production. Here, we discuss cortisol in relation to fish welfare. Cortisol is a readily measured component of the primary (neuroendocrine) stress response and is relevant to fish welfare as it affects physiological and brain functions and modifies behaviour. However, we argue that cortisol has little value if welfare is viewed purely from a functional (or behavioural) perspective-the cortisol response itself is a natural, adaptive response and is not predictive of coping as downstream impacts on function and behaviour are dose-, time- and context-dependent and not predictable. Nevertheless, we argue that welfare should be considered in terms of mental health and feelings, and that stress in relation to welfare should be viewed as psychological, rather than physiological. We contend that cortisol can be used (with caution) as a tractable indicator of how fish perceive (and feel about) their environment, psychological stress and feelings in fish. Cortisol responses are directly triggered by the brain and fish studies do indicate cortisol responses to psychological stressors, i.e., those with no direct physicochemical action. We discuss the practicalities of using cortisol to ask the fish themselves how they feel about husbandry practices and the culture environment. Single time point measurements of cortisol are of little value in assessing the stress level of fish as studies need to account for diurnal and seasonal variations, and environmental and genetic factors. Areas in need of greater clarity for the use of cortisol as an indicator of fish feelings are the separation of (physiological) stress from (psychological) distress, the separation of chronic stress from acclimation, and the interactions between feelings, cortisol, mood and behaviour.

  11. Perceived Stigmatization, Resilience, and Diurnal Cortisol Rhythm Among Children of Parents Living With HIV.

    PubMed

    Chi, Peilian; Slatcher, Richard B; Li, Xiaoming; Zhao, Junfeng; Zhao, Guoxiang; Ren, Xuequn; Zhu, Jianfeng; Stanton, Bonita

    2015-06-01

    Stigmatization often puts at risk the health and well-being of children from marginalized groups. One potential protective factor for such children is resilience--one's capability to adapt flexibly, persistently, and resourcefully to stressful situations. In this study, we investigated the associations among stigmatization, resilience, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in a sample of 645 youths affected by parents infected with HIV. Perceived stigmatization was associated with lower cortisol levels at awakening and flatter cortisol slopes, whereas resilience was independently associated with higher levels of salivary cortisol at awakening and steeper cortisol slopes. We found evidence for an indirect effect of resilience on diurnal cortisol through lower perceived stigmatization. These associations remained significant after we controlled for demographic and health factors and stressful life events. Our findings demonstrate that perceived stigmatization and resilience are associated with HPA-axis functioning in childhood. Broadly, the data suggest that resilience-promoting and stigma-reducing efforts should be considered to improve the health of children from disadvantaged groups.

  12. Heroin reduces startle and cortisol response in opioid-maintained heroin-dependent patients.

    PubMed

    Walter, Marc; Wiesbeck, Gerhard A; Degen, Bigna; Albrich, Jürgen; Oppel, Monika; Schulz, André; Schächinger, Hartmut; Dürsteler-MacFarland, Kenneth M

    2011-01-01

    Heroin dependence (HD) is a chronic relapsing brain disorder characterized by a compulsion to seek and use heroin. Stress is seen as a key factor for heroin use. Methadone maintenance and the prescription of pharmaceutical heroin [diacetylmorphine (DAM)] are established treatments for HD in several countries. The present study examined whether DAM-maintained patients and methadone-maintained patients differ from healthy controls in startle reflex and cortisol levels. Fifty-seven participants, 19 of each group matched for age, sex and smoking status, completed a startle session which included the presentation of 24 bursts of white noise while eye-blink responses to startling noises were recorded. Salivary cortisol was collected three times after awakening, before, during and after the startle session. DAM was administered before the experiment, while methadone was administered afterwards. Both heroin-dependent patient groups exhibited significantly smaller startle responses than healthy controls (P < 0.05). Whereas the cortisol levels after awakening did not differ across the three groups, the experimental cortisol levels were significantly lower in DAM-maintained patients, who received their opioid before the experiment, than in methadone-maintained patients and healthy controls (P < 0.0001). Opioid maintenance treatment for HD is associated with reduced startle responses. Acute DAM administration may suppress cortisol levels, and DAM maintenance treatment may represent an effective alternative to methadone in stress-sensitive, heroin-dependent patients.

  13. Perceived Stigmatization, Resilience, and Diurnal Cortisol Rhythm Among Children of Parents Living With HIV

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Peilian; Slatcher, Richard B.; Li, Xiaoming; Zhao, Junfeng; Zhao, Guoxiang; Ren, Xuequn; Zhu, Jianfeng; Stanton, Bonita

    2015-01-01

    Stigma is a prevalent risk factor challenging the health and well-being of children from marginalized groups. One potential protective factor for such children is resilience—one’s capability to adapt flexibly, persistently, and resourcefully to stressful situations. This study investigated the associations among stigma, resilience, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in a sample of 645 youth affected by parental HIV. Perceived stigmatization was associated with lower cortisol levels at awakening and flatter cortisol slopes, whereas resilience was independently associated with higher levels of salivary cortisol at awakening and steeper cortisol slopes. We found evidence for an indirect effect of resilience on diurnal cortisol through lower perceived stigma. These associations remained significant after controlling for demographic and health factors and stressful life events. Our findings demonstrate that perceived stigma and resilience are associated with HPA axis functioning in childhood. Broadly, the data suggest that resilience-promoting and stigma-reducing efforts should be considered to improve the health of children from disadvantaged groups. PMID:25888685

  14. Effect of service dogs on salivary cortisol secretion in autistic children.

    PubMed

    Viau, Robert; Arsenault-Lapierre, Geneviève; Fecteau, Stéphanie; Champagne, Noël; Walker, Claire-Dominique; Lupien, Sonia

    2010-09-01

    Children with Autism Syndrome Disorders (ASDs) exhibit social, communicative, and behavioral deficits. We know that human interaction with dogs, which is thought to serve as a social catalyst, results in a decrease of cortisol levels in healthy adults. Introducing service dogs to children with ASD is an attractive idea that has received growing attention in recent decades. However, no study has measured the physiological impact of service dogs on these children. Therefore, the goal of our study was to assess the effects of service dogs on the basal salivary cortisol secretion of children with ASD. We measured the salivary cortisol levels of 42 children with ASD in three experimental conditions; prior to and during the introduction of a service dog to their family, and after a short period during which the dog was removed from their family. We compared average cortisol levels and Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) before and during the introduction of the dog to the family and after its withdrawal. We found that the introduction of service dogs translated into a statistically significant diminished CAR. Before the introduction of service dogs, we measured a 58% increase in morning cortisol after awakening, which diminished to 10% when service dogs were present. The increase in morning cortisol jumped back to 48% once the dogs were removed from the families (p<0.05). However, service dogs did not have an effect on the children's average diurnal cortisol levels. These results show that the CAR of children with ASD is sensitive to the presence of service dogs, which lends support to the potential behavioral benefits of service dogs for children with autism.

  15. A prospective study of diurnal cortisol responses to the social experience of school transition in four-year-old children: anticipation, exposure, and adaptation.

    PubMed

    Turner-Cobb, Julie M; Rixon, Lorna; Jessop, David S

    2008-05-01

    This study examined psychosocial influences on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in 105 4-year-old children transitioning to primary school. Measuring before, during, and after school transition over a period of up to 12 months, salivary cortisol was assessed on awakening and early evening. Parents reported child temperament and teachers recorded adaptive behavior. Whilst cortisol at awakening and early evening increased from baseline to school transition, effects were not significant. A significant decrease occurred between transition and follow-up and from baseline to follow-up for both awakening and evening cortisol. Poorer effortful control was associated with high morning and steeper diurnal slope of cortisol at transition whilst surgency/extroversion was associated individually with greater morning and evening cortisol at transition and adaptation. Greater increase in internalizing social isolation during the first 6 months of school in more surgent/extrovert children predicted higher morning and evening cortisol at follow-up. This study is the first to explore these adaptive relationships over a 12-month period and supports social isolation over time as a key element in developmental endocrine activation.

  16. Gestational cortisol and social play shape development of marmosets' HPA functioning and behavioral responses to stressors.

    PubMed

    Mustoe, Aaryn C; Taylor, Jack H; Birnie, Andrew K; Huffman, Michelle C; French, Jeffrey A

    2014-09-01

    Both gestational cortisol exposure (GCE) and variability in postnatal environments can shape the later-life behavioral and endocrine outcomes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We examined the influence of GCE and social play on HPA functioning in developing marmosets. Maternal urinary cortisol samples were collected across pregnancy to determine GCE for 28 marmoset offspring (19 litters). We administered a social separation stressor to offspring at 6, 12, and 18 months of age, during which we collected urinary cortisol samples and behavioral observations. Increased GCE was associated with increased basal cortisol levels and cortisol reactivity, but the strength of this relationship decreased across age. Increased social play was associated with decreased basal cortisol levels and a marginally greater reduction in cortisol reactivity as offspring aged, regardless of offspring GCE. Thus, GCE is associated with HPA functioning, but socially enriching postnatal environments can alter the effects associated with increased fetal exposure to glucocorticoids.

  17. [The coma awakening unit, between intensive care and rehabilitation].

    PubMed

    Mimouni, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    After intensive care and before classic neurological rehabilitation is possible, patients in an altered state of consciousness are cared for at early stages in so-called coma awakening units. The care involves, on the one hand, the complex support of the patient's awakening from coma as a neurological and existential process, and on the other, support for their families.

  18. The contributions of Maternal Sensitivity and Maternal Depressive Symptoms to Epigenetic Processes and Neuroendocrine Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Conradt, Elisabeth; Hawes, Katheleen; Guerin, Dylan; Armstrong, David A.; Marsit, Carmen J.; Tronick, Edward; Lester, Barry M.

    2015-01-01

    This study tested whether maternal responsiveness may buffer the child to the effects of maternal depressive symptoms on DNA methylation of NR3C1, 11β-HSD2, and neuroendocrine functioning. DNA was derived from buccal epithelial cells and pre-stress cortisol was obtained from the saliva of 128 infants. Mothers with depressive symptoms who were more responsive and who engaged in more appropriate touch during face-to-face play had infants with less DNA methylation of NR3C1 and 11β-HSD2 compared to mothers with depressive symptoms who were also insensitive. The combination of exposure to maternal depressive symptoms and maternal sensitivity was related to the highest pre-stress cortisol levels whereas exposure to maternal depressive symptoms and maternal insensitivity was related to the lowest pre-stress cortisol levels. PMID:26822444

  19. Correlates and Consequences of Toddler Cortisol Reactivity to Fear

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Kalomiris, Anne E.

    2015-01-01

    Cortisol reactivity to fear-eliciting stimuli in toddlerhood may represent an indicator of risk for anxiety-spectrum problems and other maladjustment. Thus, it is important to understand factors that may contribute to cortisol reactivity as well as those that determine its predictive relation to early emerging anxiety. In this vein, the current study investigated maternal comforting behaviors, both solicited and unsolicited by the toddler, as correlates of cortisol reactivity at age 2. Further, we investigated maternal comforting behaviors and behavioral indicators of fear in both a low-threat and a high-threat context as moderators of the relation between cortisol reactivity at age 2 and change in anxiety from age 2 to age 3. The sample comprised 99 2-year-old toddlers and their mothers. Toddlers provided saliva samples at baseline and after a fear-eliciting stimulus that were assayed for cortisol. Mothers were observed for comforting behavior while interacting with their toddlers in laboratory tasks and completed questionnaires about their toddlers’ anxiety. Results indicated that unsolicited (spontaneous) comforting behavior related to toddler cortisol reactivity above and beyond solicited comforting and the level of fear toddlers displayed in the same task. Moreover, fear in a low-threat, but not high-threat, context moderated the relation between cortisol reactivity and change in anxiety, such that cortisol reactivity had a positive relation to anxiety at extreme levels of low-threat fear. Results suggest the importance of considering the caregiving environment and context-specific fear in understanding the nature of cortisol reactivity in the toddler years. PMID:26410395

  20. Correlates and consequences of toddler cortisol reactivity to fear.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Elizabeth J; Kalomiris, Anne E

    2016-02-01

    Cortisol reactivity to fear-eliciting stimuli during toddlerhood may represent an indicator of risk for anxiety spectrum problems and other maladjustment. Thus, it is important to understand factors that may contribute to cortisol reactivity as well as those that determine its predictive relation to early emerging anxiety. In this vein, the current study investigated maternal comforting behaviors, both solicited and unsolicited by the toddler, as correlates of cortisol reactivity at 2years of age. Furthermore, we investigated maternal comforting behaviors and behavioral indicators of fear in both a low-threat and a high-threat context as moderators of the relation between cortisol reactivity at age 2 and change in anxiety from age 2 to age 3. The sample comprised 99 2-year-old toddlers and their mothers. Toddlers provided saliva samples at baseline and after a fear-eliciting stimulus that were assayed for cortisol. Mothers were observed for comforting behavior while interacting with their toddlers in laboratory tasks and completed questionnaires about their toddlers' anxiety. Results indicated that unsolicited (spontaneous) comforting behavior related to toddler cortisol reactivity above and beyond solicited comforting and the level of fear toddlers displayed in the same task. Moreover, fear in a low-threat context, but not in a high-threat context, moderated the relation between cortisol reactivity and change in anxiety, such that cortisol reactivity had a positive relation to anxiety at extreme levels of low-threat fear. Results suggest the importance of considering the caregiving environment and context-specific fear in understanding the nature of cortisol reactivity during the toddler years.

  1. Cortisol levels and very early pregnancy loss in humans

    PubMed Central

    Nepomnaschy, Pablo A.; Welch, Kathleen B.; McConnell, Daniel S.; Low, Bobbi S.; Strassmann, Beverly I.; England, Barry G.

    2006-01-01

    Maternal stress is commonly cited as an important risk factor for spontaneous abortion. For humans, however, there is little physiological evidence linking miscarriage to stress. This lack of evidence may be attributable to a paucity of research on maternal stress during the earliest gestational stages. Most human studies have focused on “clinical” pregnancy (>6 weeks after the last menstrual period). The majority of miscarriages, however, occur earlier, within the first 3 weeks after conception (≈5 weeks after the last menstrual period). Studies focused on clinical pregnancy thus miss the most critical period for pregnancy continuance. We examined the association between miscarriage and levels of maternal urinary cortisol during the first 3 weeks after conception. Pregnancies characterized by increased maternal cortisol during this period (within participant analyses) were more likely to result in spontaneous abortion (P < 0.05). This evidence links increased levels in this stress marker with a higher risk of early pregnancy loss in humans. PMID:16495411

  2. Hair cortisol reflects socio-economic factors and hair zinc in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Vaghri, Ziba; Guhn, Martin; Weinberg, Joanne; Grunau, Ruth E; Yu, Wayne; Hertzman, Clyde

    2013-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between children's hair cortisol and socioeconomic status of the family, as measured by parental education and income. Low family socioeconomic status has traditionally been considered a long-term environmental stressor. Measurement of hair cortisol provides an integrated index of cumulative stress exposure across an extended period of time. The present study is the first to examine the relationship between hair cortisol and parental education as well as parental income in a representative sample of preschoolers. Data on hair cortisol, family income, and parental education were collected for a representative sample of 339 children (Mean age=4.6 years; SD=.5 years) from across 23 neighbourhoods of the city of Vancouver, Canada. As maternal education was shown previously to be associated with hair zinc level, hair zinc measurements were included as well in order to explore potential relationships between hair zinc and hair cortisol. The relationship between hair cortisol and parental education was examined using hierarchical regression, with hair zinc, gender, age, and single parenthood included as covariates. Maternal and paternal education both were correlated significantly with hair cortisol (r=-0.18; p=.001). The relationship remained statistically significant even after controlling for all demographic covariates as well as for hair zinc and after taking the neighbourhood-level clustering of the data into account. Parental income, on the other hand, was not related significantly to children's hair cortisol. This study provides evidence that lower maternal and paternal education are associated with higher hair cortisol levels. As hair cortisol provides an integrated index of cortisol exposure over an extended time period, these findings suggest a possibly stable influence of SES on the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Cumulative exposure to cortisol during early childhood may be greater in children

  3. Rude awakening. [overseas development of independent power

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, L.M. )

    1993-07-15

    Developers will find language isn't the only thing that's different overseas. The nation's dramatic success in allowing competition in electric power generation and the subsequent growth in non-utility power plant development has encouraged other countries to try their hand at stimulating growth in their internal electric markets. This has coincided with a general trend toward privatizing what were once governmental functions, a process encouraged by international agencies such as the World Bank. Because U.S. developers have acquired significant experience developing independent power projects during the 15 years since the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) was passed, they have been among the most aggressive participants in the early stages of international independent power development. Developers who try to transplant their domestic experience directly to foreign markets may be in for a rude awakening, however. Despite apparent similarities, significant differences exist between energy project development here and in international markets.

  4. Local awakening: regional reorganizations of brain oscillations after sleep.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Pei-Jung; Chen, Sharon Chia-Ju; Hsu, Chun-Yao; Wu, Changwei W; Wu, Yu-Chin; Hung, Ching-Sui; Yang, Albert C; Liu, Po-Yu; Biswal, Bharat; Lin, Ching-Po

    2014-11-15

    Brain functions express rhythmic fluctuations accompanied by sleep and wakefulness each day, but how sleep regulates brain rhythms remains unclear. Following the dose-dependent local sleep concept, two succeeding questions emerge: (1) is the sleep regulation a network-specific process; and (2) is the awakening state dependent on the previous sleep stages? To answer the questions, we conducted simultaneous EEG and fMRI recordings over 22 healthy male participants, along pre-sleep, nocturnal sleep and awakening. Using paired comparisons between awakening and pre-sleep conditions, three scenarios of the regional specificity were demonstrated on awakening: (1) the default-mode and hippocampal networks maintained similar connectivity and spectral power; (2) the sensorimotor network presented reduced connectivity and spectral power; and (3) the thalamus demonstrated substantially enhanced connectivity to the neo-cortex with decreased spectral power. With regard to the stage effect, the deep sleep group had significant changes in both functional connectivity and spectral power on awakening, whereas the indices of light sleep group remained relatively quiescent after sleep. The phenomena implied that slow-wave sleep could be key to rebooting the BOLD fluctuations after sleep. In conclusion, the regional specificity and the stage effect were verified in support of the local awakening concept, indicating that sleep regulation leads to the reorganization of brain networks upon awakening.

  5. The Effects of Morning Naps, Car Trips, and Maternal Separation on Adrenocortical Activity in Human Infants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larson, Mary C.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Three studies examined adrenocortical activity in infants. Morning naps were associated with decreases in salivary cortisol. Riding for 40 minutes in a car lowered salivary cortisol concentrations. Thirty minutes of maternal separation in the laboratory resulted in higher salivary cortisol concentrations than did 30 minutes of play with the mother…

  6. Increased Cortisol and Cortisone Levels in Overweight Children

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Lanling; Sheng, Kangwei; Liu, Ping; Ye, Kan; Wang, Yu; Li, Chen; Kang, Xuejun; Song, Yuan

    2017-01-01

    Background It has been unclear whether relatively high cortisol and cortisone levels are related to overweight in childhood, parental body mass index (BMI), and family dietary habits. The aim of this study was to compare cortisol and cortisone levels in urine and saliva from overweight and normal children, as well as correlations between children’s BMI, parental BMI and family dietary behavior questionnaire score (QS). Material/Methods We analyzed the data from 52 overweight children and 53 age- and sex-matched normal-weight children aged 4–5 years. The concentrations of salivary cortisol (SF), salivary cortisone (SE), urinary cortisol (UF) and urinary cortisone (UE) were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). The family dietary behavior QS was answered by the parent mainly responsible for the family diet. Results Average cortisol and cortisone levels were significantly higher in overweight children. There was no significant difference in the ratio of cortisol to cortisone (Rcc) and the marker of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2) activities. The results displayed correlations among cortisol, cortisone, and Rcc. Positive correlations were weak-to-moderate between BMI and SF, SE, UF, and UE. There were correlations between BMI and maternal BMI (mBMI), and BMI was significantly associated with QS. Conclusions Our results suggest that cortisol and cortisone levels are associated with overweight in children, but the 11β-HSD2 activities showed no significant differences. Unhealthy family diet was associated with higher BMI, UF, and UE, and families with maternal overweight or obesity had a higher prevalence of children’s overweight or obesity. PMID:28179618

  7. Basal cortisol levels in relation to dimensions and DSM-IV categories of depression and anxiety.

    PubMed

    Veen, Gerthe; van Vliet, Irene M; DeRijk, Roel H; Giltay, Erik J; van Pelt, Johannes; Zitman, Frans G

    2011-01-30

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV classification may fail to adequately distinguish neuroendocrine factors involved in the etiology of depressive and anxiety disorders. Continuous phenotypic dimensions may correlate better with underlying neuroendocrine dysregulations. We compared the categorical DSM-IV diagnoses with a dimensional approach in the same group of outpatients with depressive (n=36), anxiety (n=18), and comorbid depressive and anxiety (n=19) disorders, who were free of psychotropic medication, and in 36 healthy controls. The Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ) was used to measure the three dimensions of the tripartite model, i.e., anhedonic depression, anxious arousal, and general distress. The salivary cortisol awakening response (CAR) (0, 30, 45, and 60 min after awakening), and diurnal cortisol decline (11:00 h, 15:00 h, 19:00 h, and 23:00 h) were analyzed for linear and nonlinear associations. The CAR showed statistically significant nonlinear relationships with two MASQ dimensions, i.e., anhedonic depression and general distress, but no differences between DSM-IV categories. The diurnal cortisol decline was linearly related to the MASQ dimensions anhedonic depression and general distress and significantly higher AUC(diurnal) levels and a steeper slope were found in depressive patients compared to controls using DSM-IV categories. The present study shows that linear and nonlinear associations with salivary cortisol are detected when using phenotypic dimensions and may be complementary to phenotypic DSM-IV categories when doing neuroendocrine research.

  8. Cortisol response and subjective sleep disturbance after low-frequency noise exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persson Waye, K.; Agge, A.; Clow, A.; Hucklebridge, F.

    2004-10-01

    A previous experimental study showed that the cortisol response upon awakening was reduced following nights with low-frequency noise exposure. This study comprised a larger number of subjects and an extended period of acclimatisation nights. In total, 26 male subjects slept during five consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. Half of the subjects were exposed to low-frequency noise (40 dBA) on the 4th night and had their reference night (24 dBA) on the 5th night, while the reverse conditions were present for the other half of the group. Subjective sleep disturbances were recorded by questionnaires and cortisol response upon awakening was measured in saliva. The results showed that subjects were more tired and felt less socially orientated in the morning after nights with low-frequency noise. Mood was negatively affected in the evening after nights with low-frequency noise. No effect of noise condition was found on the cortisol secretion. There was a significant effect of group and weekday, indicating that further methodological developments are necessary before saliva cortisol secretion can be reliably used as an indicator of noise-disturbed sleep.

  9. Differential diagnosis of delayed awakening from general anesthesia: a review.

    PubMed

    Frost, Elizabeth A M

    2014-10-01

    With the general use of fast acting anesthetic agents, patients usually awaken quickly in the post operative period. However, sometimes recovery is protracted and the list of possible causes in long. Accurate diagnosis is key to institution of appropriate therapy.

  10. Effect of Sleep Extension on the Subsequent Testosterone, Cortisol and Prolactin Responses to Total Sleep Deprivation and Recovery.

    PubMed

    Arnal, P J; Drogou, C; Sauvet, F; Regnauld, J; Dispersyn, G; Faraut, B; Millet, G Y; Leger, D; Gomez-Merino, D; Chennaoui, M

    2016-02-01

    Total sleep deprivation (TSD) in humans is associated with altered hormonal levels, which may have clinical relevance. Less is known about the effect of an extended sleep period before TSD on these hormonal changes. Fourteen subjects participated in two experimental counterbalanced conditions (randomised cross-over design): extended sleep (21.00-07.00 h time in bed, EXT) and habitual sleep (22.30-07.00 h time in bed, HAB). For each condition, subjects performed two consecutive phases: six nights of either EXT or HAB. These nights were followed by 3 days in the sleep laboratory with blood sampling at 07.00 and 17.00 h at baseline (B-07.00 and B-17.00), after 24 and 34 h of continuous awakening (24 h-CA, 34 h-CA) and after one night of recovery sleep (R-07.00 and R-17.00) to assess testosterone, cortisol, prolactin and catecholamines concentrations. At 24 h of awakening, testosterone, cortisol and prolactin concentrations were significantly lower compared to B-07.00 and recovered basal levels after recovery sleep at R-07.00 (P < 0.001 for all). However, no change was observed at 34 h of awakening compared to B-17.00. No effect of sleep extension was observed on testosterone, cortisol and catecholamines concentrations at 24 and 34 h of awakening. However, prolactin concentration was significantly lower in EXT at B-07.00 and R-07.00 compared to HAB (P < 0.05, P < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, 24 h of awakening inhibited gonadal and adrenal responses in healthy young subjects and this was not observed at 34 h of awakening. Six nights of sleep extension is not sufficient to limit decreased concentrations of testosterone and cortisol at 24 h of awakening but may have an impact on prolactin concentration.

  11. Sex hormones adjust "sex-specific" reactive and diurnal cortisol profiles.

    PubMed

    Juster, Robert-Paul; Raymond, Catherine; Desrochers, Alexandra Bisson; Bourdon, Olivier; Durand, Nadia; Wan, Nathalie; Pruessner, Jens C; Lupien, Sonia J

    2016-01-01

    Sex differences in stress hormone functions are presumed to depend on sex hormones. And yet, surprisingly few psychoneuroendocrine studies actually assess within-sex variations of testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone when investigating sex-specific activities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In this methodological study of 204 healthy adults (60 men), we assessed whether cortisol profiles would differ between the sexes when unadjusted or adjusted for basal sex hormones among both sexes. Reactive cortisol was sampled using 6 saliva samples measured every 10-min as part of the Trier Social Stress Test that generally activates cortisol among men more than women. Diurnal cortisol was sampled over two days at (1) awakening, (2) 30-min thereafter, (3) 1400 h, (4) 1600 h, and (5) bedtime. Sex hormones were collected at baseline before the psychosocial stressor and on two occasions during diurnal cortisol assessment. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance controlled for key covariates in analyses unadjusted or adjusted for sex hormones. Results revealed that men had higher reactive cortisol than women in unadjusted analysis, but this sex difference was attenuated when adjusting for sex hormones. While diurnal cortisol showed no sex differences in unadjusted models, adjusting for sex hormones revealed that women have higher morning cortisol. Correlations using area under the curve formulae revealed intriguing sex-specific associations with progesterone in men and testosterone in women that we propose have implications for social and affective neuroscience. In summary, our results reveal that adjusting for sex hormones alters "sex-specific" reactive and diurnal cortisol profiles.

  12. Familial Longevity Is Marked by Lower Diurnal Salivary Cortisol Levels: The Leiden Longevity Study

    PubMed Central

    Noordam, Raymond; Oei, Nicole Y. L.; Maier, Andrea B.; Pijl, Hanno; Slagboom, P. Eline; Westendorp, Rudi G. J.; van der Grond, Jeroen; de Craen, Anton J. M.; van Heemst, Diana

    2012-01-01

    Background Reported findings are inconsistent whether hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) signaling becomes hyperactive with increasing age, resulting in increasing levels of cortisol. Our previous research strongly suggests that offspring from long-lived families are biologically younger. In this study we assessed whether these offspring have a lower HPA axis activity, as measured by lower levels of cortisol and higher cortisol feedback sensitivity. Methods Salivary cortisol levels were measured at four time points within the first hour upon awakening and at two time points in the evening in a cohort comprising 149 offspring and 154 partners from the Leiden Longevity Study. A dexamethasone suppression test was performed as a measure of cortisol feedback sensitivity. Age, gender and body mass index, smoking and disease history (type 2 diabetes and hypertension) were considered as possible confounding factors. Results Salivary cortisol secretion was lower in offspring compared to partners in the morning (Area Under the Curve = 15.6 versus 17.1 nmol/L, respectively; p = 0.048) and in the evening (Area Under the Curve = 3.32 versus 3.82 nmol/L, respectively; p = 0.024). Salivary cortisol levels were not different after dexamethasone (0.5 mg) suppression between offspring and partners (4.82 versus 5.26 nmol/L, respectively; p = 0.28). Conclusion Offspring of nonagenarian siblings are marked by a lower HPA axis activity (reflected by lower diurnal salivary cortisol levels), but not by a difference in cortisol feedback sensitivity. Further in-depth studies aimed at characterizing the HPA axis in offspring and partners are needed. PMID:22348049

  13. Natural variation in gestational cortisol is associated with patterns of growth in marmoset monkeys (Callithrix geoffroyi).

    PubMed

    Mustoe, Aaryn C; Birnie, Andrew K; Korgan, Austin C; Santo, Jonathan B; French, Jeffrey A

    2012-02-01

    High levels of prenatal cortisol have been previously reported to retard fetal growth. Although cortisol plays a pivotal role in prenatal maturation, heightened exposure to cortisol can result in lower body weights at birth, which have been shown to be associated with adult diseases like hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This study examines the relationship between natural variation in gestational cortisol and fetal and postnatal growth in marmoset monkeys. Urinary samples obtained during the mother's gestation were analyzed for cortisol. Marmoset body mass index (BMI) was measured from birth through 540 days in 30- or 60-day intervals. Multi-level modeling was used to test if marmoset growth over time was predicted by changes in gestational cortisol controlling for time, sex, litter, and litter size. The results show that offspring exposed to intra-uterine environments with elevated levels of cortisol had lower linear BMI rates of change shortly after birth than did offspring exposed to lower levels of cortisol, but exhibited a higher curvilinear growth rate during adolescence. Average daily change in gestational cortisol during the first trimester had a stronger relationship with postnatal growth than change during the third trimester. Higher exposure to cortisol during gestation does alter developmental trajectories, however there appears to be a catch-up period during later post-natal growth. These observations contribute to a larger discussion about the relationship of maternal glucocorticoids on offspring development and the possibility of an earlier vulnerable developmental window.

  14. Natural variation in gestational cortisol is associated with patterns of growth in marmoset monkeys (Callithrix geoffroyi)

    PubMed Central

    Mustoe, Aaryn C.; Birnie, Andrew K.; Korgan, Austin C.; Santo, Jonathan B.; French, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    High levels of prenatal cortisol have been previously reported to retard fetal growth. Although cortisol plays a pivotal role in prenatal maturation, heightened exposure to cortisol can result in lower body weights at birth, which have been shown to be associated with adult diseases like hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This study examines the relationship between natural variation in gestational cortisol and fetal and postnatal growth in marmoset monkeys. Urinary samples obtained during the mother’s gestation were analyzed for cortisol. Marmoset body mass index (BMI) was measured from birth through 540 days in 30- or 60-day intervals. Multi-level modeling was used to test if marmoset growth over time was predicted by changes in gestational cortisol controlling for time, sex, litter, and litter size. The results show that offspring exposed to intra-uterine environments with elevated levels of cortisol had lower linear BMI rates of change shortly after birth than did offspring exposed to lower levels of cortisol, but exhibited a higher curvilinear growth rate during adolescence. Average daily change in gestational cortisol during the first trimester had a stronger relationship with postnatal growth than change during the third trimester. Higher exposure to cortisol during gestation does alter developmental trajectories, however there appears to be a catch-up period during later post-natal growth. These observations contribute to a larger discussion about the relationship of maternal glucocorticoids on offspring development and the possibility of an earlier vulnerable developmental window. PMID:22212825

  15. Loneliness and Cortisol: Momentary, Day-to-day, and Trait Associations

    PubMed Central

    Adam, Emma K.

    2009-01-01

    Summary In attempts to understand the social determinants of health, strong associations have been found between measures of loneliness, physiological stress processes, and physical and mental health outcomes. Feelings of loneliness are hypothesized to have implications for physiological stress processes, including activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In a community sample of young adults, multilevel modeling was used to examine whether trait and state feelings of loneliness were related to changes in levels of the stress-sensitive hormone cortisol, and whether the associations between loneliness and cortisol were mediated or moderated by the presence of concurrent depression or high levels of chronic life stress. Results indicated that trait loneliness was associated with a flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. In addition, both daily and momentary state variations in loneliness were related to cortisol. Prior-day feelings of loneliness were associated with an increased cortisol awakening response the next morning and momentary experiences of loneliness during the day were associated with momentary increases in cortisol among youth who also had high chronic interpersonal stress. Results were significant after covarying current depression, both chronic and momentary reports of stress, and medical and lifestyle covariates. This study expanded on prior work by investigating and revealing three different time-courses of association between loneliness and HPA axis activity in young adults: trait, daily and momentary. PMID:19744794

  16. Loneliness and cortisol: momentary, day-to-day, and trait associations.

    PubMed

    Doane, Leah D; Adam, Emma K

    2010-04-01

    In attempts to understand the social determinants of health, strong associations have been found between measures of loneliness, physiological stress processes, and physical and mental health outcomes. Feelings of loneliness are hypothesized to have implications for physiological stress processes, including activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In a community sample of young adults, multilevel modeling was used to examine whether trait and state feelings of loneliness were related to changes in levels of the stress-sensitive hormone cortisol, and whether the associations between loneliness and cortisol were mediated or moderated by the presence of concurrent depression or high levels of chronic life stress. Results indicated that trait loneliness was associated with a flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. In addition, both daily and momentary state variations in loneliness were related to cortisol. Prior day feelings of loneliness were associated with an increased cortisol awakening response the next morning and momentary experiences of loneliness during the day were associated with momentary increases in cortisol among youth who also had high chronic interpersonal stress. Results were significant after covarying current depression, both chronic and momentary reports of stress, and medical and lifestyle covariates. This study expanded on prior work by investigating and revealing three different time courses of association between loneliness and HPA axis activity in young adults: trait, daily and momentary.

  17. Associations Between Jet Lag and Cortisol Diurnal Rhythms After Domestic Travel

    PubMed Central

    Doane, Leah D.; Kremen, William S.; Eaves, Lindon J.; Eisen, Seth A.; Hauger, Richard; Hellhammer, Dirk; Levine, Seymour; Lupien, Sonia; Lyons, Michael J.; Mendoza, Sally; Prom-Wormley, Elizabeth; Xian, Hong; York, Timothy P.; Franz, Carol E.; Jacobson, Kristen C.

    2011-01-01

    Objective Millions of adults in the United States travel abruptly across time zones each year. Nevertheless, the impact of traveling over relatively short distances (across 3 or fewer time zones) on diurnal patterning of typical physiological response patterns has yet to be studied in a large, epidemiological sample. Design The current research focuses on 764 middle-aged men comparing variations in diurnal cortisol regulation based on number of time zones traveled eastward or westward the day before. Main Outcome Measure Participants provided samples of salivary cortisol at waking, 30-min postwaking, 10 a.m., 3 p.m., and bedtime. Results Eastward travel was associated with a steeper salivary cortisol awakening response ( p < .01) and lower peak (PEAK) levels of salivary cortisol the next morning ( p < .05). Westward travel was associated with lower peak levels of cortisol the next morning ( p < .05). Effect sizes for these differences ranged from Cohen’s d = .29 to .47. Differences were not present for 2 days in their home environment. Conclusions The results provide evidence that traveling across time zones is associated with diurnal cortisol regulation and should be studied further to understand the subsequent impacts on health and well-being in large national samples. PMID:20230083

  18. Cognitive functioning and cortisol profiles in first episode major depression.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Pia Berner; Murison, Robert; Lund, Anders; Hammar, Åsa

    2015-08-01

    Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is often associated with high levels of stress and disturbances in the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) system, yielding high levels of cortisol, in addition to cognitive dysfunction. Previous studies have shown a relationship between cortisol profile and cognitive functioning in recurrent MDD in general. More specifically, the association between hypercortisolism and cognitive functioning, such as memory and Executive Functioning (EF), and also more recently cortisol suppression has been explored. However, no studies have investigated these relationships in patients diagnosed with first episode MDD. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between cortisol levels before and after the Dexamethasone suppression test (DST) and cognitive function in first episode MDD patients. Twenty-one patients meeting the DSM-IV criteria for a first episode of MDD diagnosis were included in the study. The control group was matched for age, gender and education level. Cortisol was measured in saliva collected with Salivette sampling devices. Saliva samples were collected 4 times during a 24 hours period over two consecutive days: at awakening, after 45 minutes, after 7 hours and at 11 pm. Dexamethasone (1.0 mg) was given orally on Day 1 at 11 pm. The neuropsychological test battery consisted of standardized tests measuring executive functioning (EF) and memory functioning. Cortisol levels did not differ significantly between patients and controls on Day 1, except for the last sample before Dexamethasone administration, where the control group showed higher levels. Both groups showed suppression after Dexamethasone. On Day 2 there was a significant difference between groups at the third sample, showing a significantly lower level in the control group, suggesting that the controls have a more effective suppression profile than the patients. There were no significant correlations between cortisol levels before or after

  19. The Contributions of Maternal Sensitivity and Maternal Depressive Symptoms to Epigenetic Processes and Neuroendocrine Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conradt, Elisabeth; Hawes, Katheleen; Guerin, Dylan; Armstrong, David A.; Marsit, Carmen J.; Tronick, Edward; Lester, Barry M.

    2016-01-01

    This study tested whether maternal responsiveness may buffer the child to the effects of maternal depressive symptoms on DNA methylation of "NR3C1," "11ß-HSD2," and neuroendocrine functioning. DNA was derived from buccal epithelial cells and prestress cortisol was obtained from the saliva of 128 infants. Mothers with depressive…

  20. Grumblings from an Awakening Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    In June of this year, after nearly three decades of sleep, the black hole V404 Cygni woke up and began grumbling. Scientists across the globe scrambled to observe the sudden flaring activity coming from this previously peaceful black hole. And now were getting the first descriptions of what weve learned from V404 Cygs awakening!Sudden OutburstV404 Cyg is a black hole of roughly nine solar masses, and its in a binary system with a low-mass star. The black hole pulls a stream of gas from the star, which then spirals in around the black hole, forming an accretion disk. Sometimes the material simply accumulates in the disk but every two or three decades, the build-up of gas suddenly rushes toward the black hole as if a dam were bursting.The sudden accretion in these events causes outbursts of activity from the black hole, its flaring easily visible to us. The last time V404 Cyg exhibited such activity was in 1989, and its been rather quiet since then. Our telescopes are of course much more powerful and sensitive now, nearly three decades later so when the black hole woke up and began flaring in June, scientists were delighted at the chance to observe it.The high variability of V404 Cyg is evident in this example set of spectra, where time increases from the bottom panel to the top. [King et al. 2015]Led by Ashley King (Einstein Fellow at Stanford University), a team of scientists observed V404 Cyg with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, obtaining spectra of the black hole during its outbursts. The black hole flared so brightly during its activity that the team had to take precautions to protect the CCDs in their detector from radiation damage! Now the group has released the first results from their analysis.Windy DiskThe primary surprise from V404 Cyg is its winds. Many stellar-mass black holes have outflows of mass, either in the form of directed jets emitted from their centers, or in the form of high-energy winds isotropically emitted from their accretion disks. But V404

  1. Mother-Adolescent Physiological Synchrony in Naturalistic Settings: Within-Family Cortisol Associations and Moderators

    PubMed Central

    Papp, Lauren M.; Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, the authors examined parent-adolescent cortisol associations in 45 families with adolescent children (24 girls; M age = 15.78 years, SD = 1.44 years). Family members’ salivary cortisol levels were measured 7 times a day on 2 typical weekdays. Family members provided reports of demographic and health variables, and adolescents rated parent-child relationship characteristics. After accounting for the effects of time of day and relevant demographic and health control variables on cortisol levels, hierarchical linear models indicated the presence of significant covariation over time in mother-adolescent cortisol (i.e., physiological synchrony). Furthermore, moderating tests revealed that mother-adolescent cortisol synchrony was strengthened among dyads characterized by mothers and adolescents spending more time together, and in families rated higher on levels of parent-youth shared activities and parental monitoring/supervision. Analysis of momentary characteristics indicated that maternal presence at the time of cortisol sampling lowered adolescent cortisol levels but did not account for mother-adolescent cortisol synchrony. Within-family physiological synchrony was amplified in momentary contexts of elevated maternal negative affect and elevated adolescent negative affect. PMID:20001147

  2. Mother-adolescent physiological synchrony in naturalistic settings: within-family cortisol associations and moderators.

    PubMed

    Papp, Lauren M; Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K

    2009-12-01

    In this study, the authors examined parent-adolescent cortisol associations in 45 families with adolescent children (24 girls; M age = 15.78 years, SD = 1.44 years). Family members' salivary cortisol levels were measured seven times a day on 2 typical weekdays. Family members provided reports of demographic and health variables, and adolescents rated parent-child relationship characteristics. After accounting for the effects of time of day and relevant demographic and health control variables on cortisol levels, hierarchical linear models indicated the presence of significant covariation over time in mother-adolescent cortisol (i.e., physiological synchrony). Furthermore, moderating tests revealed that mother-adolescent cortisol synchrony was strengthened among dyads characterized by mothers and adolescents spending more time together, and in families rated higher on levels of parent-youth shared activities and parental monitoring or supervision. Analysis of momentary characteristics indicated that maternal presence at the time of cortisol sampling lowered adolescent cortisol levels but did not account for mother-adolescent cortisol synchrony. Within-family physiological synchrony was amplified in momentary contexts of elevated maternal negative affect and elevated adolescent negative affect.

  3. Effects of interpersonal violence-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on mother and child diurnal cortisol rhythm and cortisol reactivity to a laboratory stressor involving separation.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Maria I; Moser, Dominik A; Manini, Aurelia; Suardi, Francesca; Sancho-Rossignol, Ana; Torrisi, Raffaella; Rossier, Michel F; Ansermet, François; Dayer, Alexandre G; Rusconi-Serpa, Sandra; Schechter, Daniel S

    2017-02-18

    Women who have experienced interpersonal violence (IPV) are at a higher risk to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and impaired social behavior. Previously, we had reported impaired maternal sensitivity and increased difficulty in identifying emotions (i.e. alexithymia) among IPV-PTSD mothers. One of the aims of the present study was to examine maternal IPV-PTSD salivary cortisol levels diurnally and reactive to their child's distress in relation to maternal alexithymia. Given that mother-child interaction during infancy and early childhood has important long-term consequences on the stress response system, toddlers' cortisol levels were assessed during the day and in response to a laboratory stressor. Mothers collected their own and their 12-48month-old toddlers' salivary samples at home three times: 30min after waking up, between 2-3pm and at bedtime. Moreover, mother-child dyads participated in a 120-min laboratory session, consisting of 3 phases: baseline, stress situation (involving mother-child separation and exposure to novelty) and a 60-min regulation phase. Compared to non-PTSD controls, IPV-PTSD mothers - but not their toddlers, had lower morning cortisol and higher bedtime cortisol levels. As expected, IPV-PTSD mothers and their children showed blunted cortisol reactivity to the laboratory stressor. Maternal cortisol levels were negatively correlated to difficulty in identifying emotions. Our data highlights PTSD-IPV-related alterations in the HPA system and its relevance to maternal behavior. Toddlers of IPV-PTSD mothers also showed an altered pattern of cortisol reactivity to stress that potentially may predispose them to later psychological disorders.

  4. Unstimulated cortisol secretory activity in everyday life and its relationship with fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review and subset meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Powell, Daniel J H; Liossi, Christina; Moss-Morris, Rona; Schlotz, Wolff

    2013-11-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a psychoneuroendocrine regulator of the stress response and immune system, and dysfunctions have been associated with outcomes in several physical health conditions. Its end product, cortisol, is relevant to fatigue due to its role in energy metabolism. The systematic review examined the relationship between different markers of unstimulated salivary cortisol activity in everyday life in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fatigue assessed in other clinical and general populations. Search terms for the review related to salivary cortisol assessments, everyday life contexts, and fatigue. All eligible studies (n=19) were reviewed narratively in terms of associations between fatigue and assessed cortisol markers, including the cortisol awakening response (CAR), circadian profile (CP) output, and diurnal cortisol slope (DCS). Subset meta-analyses were conducted of case-control CFS studies examining group differences in three cortisol outcomes: CAR output; CAR increase; and CP output. Meta-analyses revealed an attenuation of the CAR increase within CFS compared to controls (d=-.34) but no statistically significant differences between groups for other markers. In the narrative review, total cortisol output (CAR or CP) was rarely associated with fatigue in any population; CAR increase and DCS were most relevant. Outcomes reflecting within-day change in cortisol levels (CAR increase; DCS) may be the most relevant to fatigue experience, and future research in this area should report at least one such marker. Results should be considered with caution due to heterogeneity in one meta-analysis and the small number of studies.

  5. Developmental histories of perceived racial discrimination and diurnal cortisol profiles in adulthood: A 20-year prospective study

    PubMed Central

    Adam, Emma K.; Heissel, Jennifer A.; Zeiders, Katharine H.; Richeson, Jennifer A.; Ross, Emily C.; Ehrlich, Katherine B.; Levy, Dorainne J.; Kemeny, Margaret; Brodish, Amanda B.; Malanchuk, Oksana; Peck, Stephen C.; Fuller-Rowell, Thomas E.; Eccles, Jacquelynne S.

    2015-01-01

    Perceived racial discrimination (PRD) has been associated with altered diurnal cortisol rhythms in past cross-sectional research. We investigate whether developmental histories of PRD, assessed prospectively, are associated with adult diurnal cortisol profiles. One-hundred and twelve (N = 50 Black, N = 62 White) adults from the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study provided saliva samples in adulthood (at approximately age 32 years) at waking, 30 min after waking, and at bedtime for 7 days. Diurnal cortisol measures were calculated, including waking cortisol levels, diurnal cortisol slopes, the cortisol awakening response (CAR), and average daily cortisol (AUC). These cortisol outcomes were predicted from measures of PRD obtained over a 20-year period beginning when individuals were in 7th grade (approximately age 12). Greater average PRD measured across the 20-year period predicted flatter adult diurnal cortisol slopes for both Black and White adults, and a lower CAR. Greater average PRD also predicted lower waking cortisol for Black, but not White adults. PRD experiences in adolescence accounted for many of these effects. When adolescent and young adult PRD are entered together predicting cortisol outcomes, PRD experiences in adolescence (but not young adulthood) significantly predicted flatter diurnal cortisol slopes for both Black and White adults. Adolescent, but not young adult PRD, also significantly predicted lower waking and lower average cortisol for Black adults. Young adult PRD was, however, a stronger predictor of the CAR, predicting a marginally lower CAR for Whites, and a significantly larger CAR for Blacks. Effects were robust to controlling for covariates including health behaviors, depression, income and parent education levels. PRD experiences interacted with parent education and income to predict aspects of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. Although these results suggest PRD influences on cortisol for both Blacks and Whites, the key

  6. Stress biomarkers as predictors of transition to psychosis in at-risk mental states: roles for cortisol, prolactin and albumin.

    PubMed

    Labad, Javier; Stojanovic-Pérez, Alexander; Montalvo, Itziar; Solé, Montse; Cabezas, Ángel; Ortega, Laura; Moreno, Irene; Vilella, Elisabet; Martorell, Lourdes; Reynolds, Rebecca M; Gutiérrez-Zotes, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Stress and inflammation are thought to play a role in the risk of developing a psychotic disorder. We aimed to identify stress-related biomarkers for psychosis transition in help-seeking individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS). We studied 39 ARMS subjects who were attending an Early Intervention Service. We included a control group of 44 healthy subjects (HS) matched by sex and age. Stressful life events and perceived stress were assessed. Stress-related biomarkers were determined in serum (cortisol, prolactin, C-reactive protein and albumin), plasma (fibrinogen) or saliva (morning cortisol, cortisol awakening response). All ARMS were followed-up at our Unit for at least one year. We divided the ARMS group into two subgroups based on the development of a psychotic disorder (ARMS-P, N = 10) or not (ARMS-NP, N = 29). ARMS-P reported more stressful life events and perceived stress than HS and ARMS-NP groups. In relation to baseline stress biomarkers, ARMS-P subjects had increased prolactin and lower albumin levels in serum, when compared to ARMS-NP and HS groups. These results did not change when repeated in a subsample of antipsychotic-naïve ARMS subjects. We also found significant differences between groups in the cortisol secretion after awakening. In a multinomial logistic regression adjusting for age, sex and life stress, prolactin was a predictor of psychosis transition whereas albumin levels had a protective effect. Our study underscores the role of stress and stress-related biomarkers (cortisol awakening response, prolactin and albumin) in the pathogenesis of psychosis.

  7. Cortisol responses to naturalistic and laboratory stress in student teachers: comparison with a non-stress control day.

    PubMed

    Wolfram, Maren; Bellingrath, Silja; Feuerhahn, Nicolas; Kudielka, Brigitte M

    2013-04-01

    Ambulatory assessments of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to acute natural stressors yield evidence on stress regulation with high ecological validity. Sampling of salivary cortisol is a standard technique in this field. In 21 healthy student teachers, we assessed cortisol responses to a demonstration lesson. On a control day, sampling was repeated at analogous times. Additionally, the cortisol awakening response (CAR) was assessed on both days. Participants were also exposed to a laboratory stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, and rated their individual levels of chronic work stress. In pre-to-post-stress assessment, cortisol levels declined after the lesson. However, post-stress cortisol levels were significantly higher compared with those on the control day. Also, the Trier Social Stress Test yielded higher cortisol responses when using the control day as reference baseline. Associations between the CAR and chronic stress measures were observed solely on the control day. There were no significant associations between cortisol responses to the natural and laboratory stressors. Our results indicate that a control day might be an important complement in laboratory but especially in ambulatory stress research. Furthermore, associations between chronic stress measures and the CAR might be obscured by acute stress exposure. Finally, responses to the laboratory stressor do not seem to mirror natural stress responses.

  8. Job Strain and the Cortisol Diurnal Cycle in MESA: Accounting for Between- and Within-Day Variability.

    PubMed

    Rudolph, Kara E; Sánchez, Brisa N; Stuart, Elizabeth A; Greenberg, Benjamin; Fujishiro, Kaori; Wand, Gary S; Shrager, Sandi; Seeman, Teresa; Diez Roux, Ana V; Golden, Sherita H

    2016-03-01

    Evidence of the link between job strain and cortisol levels has been inconsistent. This could be due to failure to account for cortisol variability leading to underestimated standard errors. Our objective was to model the relationship between job strain and the whole cortisol curve, accounting for sources of cortisol variability. Our functional mixed-model approach incorporated all available data-18 samples over 3 days-and uncertainty in estimated relationships. We used employed participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Stress I Study and data collected between 2002 and 2006. We used propensity score matching on an extensive set of variables to control for sources of confounding. We found that job strain was associated with lower salivary cortisol levels and lower total area under the curve. We found no relationship between job strain and the cortisol awakening response. Our findings differed from those of several previous studies. It is plausible that our results were unique to middle- to older-aged racially, ethnically, and occupationally diverse adults and were therefore not inconsistent with previous research among younger, mostly white samples. However, it is also plausible that previous findings were influenced by residual confounding and failure to propagate uncertainty (i.e., account for the multiple sources of variability) in estimating cortisol features.

  9. Balancing scientific accuracy and participant burden: testing the impact of sampling intensity on diurnal cortisol indices.

    PubMed

    Hoyt, Lindsay Till; Ehrlich, Katherine B; Cham, Heining; Adam, Emma K

    2016-09-01

    Despite the increasing popularity of incorporating salivary cortisol measurement into health and social science research, relatively little empirical work has been conducted on the number of saliva samples across the day required to capture key features of the diurnal cortisol rhythm, such as the diurnal cortisol slope, the area under the curve (AUC), and the cortisol awakening response (CAR). The primary purpose of this study is to compare slope, AUC, and CAR measures obtained from an intensive sampling protocol with estimates from less intensive protocols, to identify sampling protocols with minimal participant burden that still provide reasonably accurate assessment of each of these measures. Twenty-four healthy adults provided samples four times in the first hour awake, and then every hour throughout the rest of the day until bedtime (M = 17.8 samples/day; SD = 2.0), over two consecutive days (N = 862 total samples). We compared measures calculated from this maximum intensity protocol to measures calculated from two to six sampling points per day. Overall, results show that salivary cortisol protocols with two fixed samples (waking and bedtime) and three additional daily samples, closely approximates the full cortisol decline (slope). Abbreviated sampling protocols of total cortisol exposure across the day (AUC), however, were not well approximated by reduced sampling protocols. CAR measures based on only two samples, including waking cortisol and a second sample measured at a fixed time point between 30 and 60 min after waking, provided a measure of the CAR that closely approximated CAR measures obtained from 3 or 4 sampling points.

  10. Green space and stress: evidence from cortisol measures in deprived urban communities.

    PubMed

    Roe, Jenny J; Thompson, Catharine Ward; Aspinall, Peter A; Brewer, Mark J; Duff, Elizabeth I; Miller, David; Mitchell, Richard; Clow, Angela

    2013-09-02

    Contact with green space in the environment has been associated with mental health benefits, but the mechanism underpinning this association is not clear. This study extends an earlier exploratory study showing that more green space in deprived urban neighbourhoods in Scotland is linked to lower levels of perceived stress and improved physiological stress as measured by diurnal patterns of cortisol secretion. Salivary cortisol concentrations were measured at 3, 6 and 9 h post awakening over two consecutive weekdays, together with measures of perceived stress. Participants (n = 106) were men and women not in work aged between 35-55 years, resident in socially disadvantaged districts from the same Scottish, UK, urban context as the earlier study. Results from linear regression analyses showed a significant and negative relationship between higher green space levels and stress levels, indicating living in areas with a higher percentage of green space is associated with lower stress, confirming the earlier study findings. This study further extends the findings by showing significant gender differences in stress patterns by levels of green space, with women in lower green space areas showing higher levels of stress. A significant interaction effect between gender and percentage green space on mean cortisol concentrations showed a positive effect of higher green space in relation to cortisol measures in women, but not in men. Higher levels of neighbourhood green space were associated with healthier mean cortisol levels in women whilst also attenuating higher cortisol levels in men. We conclude that higher levels of green space in residential neighbourhoods, for this deprived urban population of middle-aged men and women not in work, are linked with lower perceived stress and a steeper (healthier) diurnal cortisol decline. However, overall patterns and levels of cortisol secretion in men and women were differentially related to neighbourhood green space and warrant

  11. PROSPECTIVE EVALUATION OF ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN PRENATAL CORTISOL AND ADULTHOOD CORONARY HEART DISEASE RISK: THE NEW ENGLAND FAMILY STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Stinson, Lynda J.; Stroud, Laura R.; Buka, Stephen L.; Eaton, Charles B.; Lu, Bing; Niaura, Raymond; Loucks, Eric B.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Increasing evidence suggests that early life factors may influence coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, however little is known about contributions of prenatal cortisol. Objectives were to prospectively assess associations of maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy with offspring’s 10-year CHD risk during middle-age. METHODS Participants were 262 mother-offspring dyads from the New England Family Study. Maternal free cortisol was assessed in third trimester maternal serum samples. Ten-year CHD risk was calculated in offspring at mean age 42 years, using the validated Framingham risk algorithm incorporating diabetes, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total and HDL cholesterol, smoking, age and sex. RESULTS In multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses adjusted for age and race/ethnicity, high vs. low maternal cortisol tertile was associated with 36.7% (95% CI: 8.4%, 72.5%) greater mean 10-year CHD risk score in females. There was no association in males (−2.8%, 95% CI: −23.8%, 24.0%). Further adjustment for in utero socioeconomic position showed 25.9% (95% CI: −1.0%, 60.0%) greater CHD risk in females. Adjustment for maternal age and size for gestational age had little effect on findings. CONCLUSIONS Maternal prenatal cortisol levels were positively associated with 10-year CHD risk among female, and not male, offspring. Adjusting for socioeconomic position during pregnancy reduced effect size in females, suggesting it may be a common prior factor in both maternal cortisol and CHD risk. These findings provide evidence that targeting mothers who have elevated prenatal cortisol levels, including elevated cortisol in the setting of low socioeconomic position, may potentially reduce long-term CHD risk in their offspring. PMID:25768844

  12. Neuroanatomical Predictors of Awakening in Acutely Comatose Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kowalski, Robert G.; Buitrago, Manuel M.; Duckworth, Josh; Chonka, Zachary D.; Puttgen, H. Adrian; Stevens, Robert D.; Geocadin, Romergryko G.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Lateral brain displacement has been associated with loss of consciousness and poor outcome in a range of acute neurologic disorders. We studied the association between lateral brain displacement and awakening from acute coma. Methods This prospective observational study included all new onset coma patients admitted to the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU) over 12 consecutive months. Head computed tomography (CT) scans were analyzed independently at coma onset, after awakening, and at follow-up. Primary outcome measure was awakening, defined as the ability to follow commands before hospital discharge. Secondary outcome measures were discharge Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), modified Rankin Scale, Glasgow Outcome Scale, and hospital and NCCU lengths of stay. Results Of the 85 patients studied, the mean age was 58 ± 16 years, 51% were female, and 78% had cerebrovascular etiology of coma. Fifty-one percent of patients had midline shift on head CT at coma onset and 43 (51%) patients awakened. In a multivariate analysis, independent predictors of awakening were younger age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.039, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.002–1.079, p = 0.040), higher GCS score at coma onset (OR = 1.455, 95% CI = 1.157–1.831, p = 0.001), nontraumatic coma etiology (OR = 4.464, 95% CI = 1.011–19.608, p = 0.048), lesser pineal shift on follow-up CT (OR = 1.316, 95% CI = 1.073–1.615, p = 0.009), and reduction or no increase in pineal shift on follow-up CT (OR = 11.628, 95% CI = 2.207–62.500, p = 0.004). Interpretation Reversal and/or limitation of lateral brain displacement are associated with acute awakening in comatose patients. These findings suggest objective parameters to guide prognosis and treatment in patients with acute onset of coma. PMID:25628166

  13. Adult cognitive ability and socioeconomic status as mediators of the effects of childhood disadvantage on salivary cortisol in aging adults

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Carol E.; Spoon, Kelly; Thompson, Wesley; Hauger, Richard L.; Hellhammer, Dirk H.; Jacobson, Kristen C.; Lupien, Sonia; Lyons, Michael J.; McCaffery, Jeanne; McKenzie, Ruth; Mendoza, Sally P.; Panizzon, Matthew S.; Ramundo, Ana; Shahroudi, Afrand; Kremen, William S.

    2015-01-01

    Summary In this longitudinal study we investigate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. Two mechanisms by which early life stress may affect later pathophysiology are through its influence on cognitive functioning or later socioeconomic (SES) disadvantage. We predicted that individual differences in young adult cognitive ability and midlife SES would mediate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife cortisol. On each of three nonconsecutive days, participants provided five salivary cortisol samples corresponding to their diurnal rhythm (N = 727 men; mean age 55, SD = 2.6). We calculated three measures of cortisol regulation (area-under-the curve cortisol reflecting total daytime cortisol output; cortisol-awakening-response; and wake-to-bed slope), averaging scores for each measure across multiple days. Childhood disadvantage combined four dichotomous indicators used previously by Rutter (1985): father low SES; mother education less than 12th grade; major family disruption/separation before age 18; and large family size (more than 5 siblings). The two mediators were a measure of general cognitive ability assessed at age 20 and highest achieved midlife SES. Men from more disadvantaged childhoods were significantly more likely to have dysregulated cortisol at midlife, with higher daytime cortisol levels decades after their childhood experience. Effects of childhood disadvantage were both direct and indirect. Cognitive ability and adult SES, however, only partially mediated the associations between early life stress and midlife cortisol. Specific indirect effects accounted for 33.8% of the total effect of childhood disadvantage [β = 0.12 (0.05; 0.18)] on total daytime cortisol. Associations remained significant after accounting for ethnicity, smoking status, and self-reported depressive symptoms. PMID:23684478

  14. Adult cognitive ability and socioeconomic status as mediators of the effects of childhood disadvantage on salivary cortisol in aging adults.

    PubMed

    Franz, Carol E; Spoon, Kelly; Thompson, Wesley; Hauger, Richard L; Hellhammer, Dirk H; Jacobson, Kristen C; Lupien, Sonia; Lyons, Michael J; McCaffery, Jeanne; McKenzie, Ruth; Mendoza, Sally P; Panizzon, Matthew S; Ramundo, Ana; Shahroudi, Afrand; Kremen, William S

    2013-10-01

    In this longitudinal study we investigate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. Two mechanisms by which early life stress may affect later pathophysiology are through its influence on cognitive functioning or later socioeconomic (SES) disadvantage. We predicted that individual differences in young adult cognitive ability and midlife SES would mediate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife cortisol. On each of three nonconsecutive days, participants provided five salivary cortisol samples corresponding to their diurnal rhythm (N=727 men; mean age 55, SD=2.6). We calculated three measures of cortisol regulation (area-under-the curve cortisol reflecting total daytime cortisol output; cortisol-awakening-response; and wake-to-bed slope), averaging scores for each measure across multiple days. Childhood disadvantage combined four dichotomous indicators used previously by Rutter (1985): father low SES; mother education less than 12th grade; major family disruption/separation before age 18; and large family size (more than 5 siblings). The two mediators were a measure of general cognitive ability assessed at age 20 and highest achieved midlife SES. Men from more disadvantaged childhoods were significantly more likely to have dysregulated cortisol at midlife, with higher daytime cortisol levels decades after their childhood experience. Effects of childhood disadvantage were both direct and indirect. Cognitive ability and adult SES, however, only partially mediated the associations between early life stress and midlife cortisol. Specific indirect effects accounted for 33.8% of the total effect of childhood disadvantage [β=0.12 (0.05; 0.18)] on total daytime cortisol. Associations remained significant after accounting for ethnicity, smoking status, and self-reported depressive symptoms.

  15. Economic Stress and Cortisol Among Postpartum Low-Income Mexican American Women: Buffering Influence of Family Support.

    PubMed

    Jewell, Shannon L; Luecken, Linda J; Gress-Smith, Jenna; Crnic, Keith A; Gonzales, Nancy A

    2015-01-01

    Low-income Mexican American women experience significant health disparities during the postpartum period. Contextual stressors, such as economic stress, are theorized to affect health via dysregulated cortisol output. However, cultural protective factors including strong family support may buffer the impact of stress. In a sample of 322 low-income Mexican American women (mother age 18-42; 82% Spanish-speaking; modal family income $10,000-$15,000), we examined the interactive influence of economic stress and family support at 6 weeks postpartum on maternal cortisol output (AUCg) during a mildly challenging mother-infant interaction task at 12 weeks postpartum, controlling for 6-week maternal cortisol and depressive symptoms. The interaction significantly predicted cortisol output such that higher economic stress predicted higher cortisol only among women reporting low family support. These results suggest that family support is an important protective resource for postpartum Mexican American women experiencing elevated economic stress.

  16. Economic stress and cortisol among postpartum low-income Mexican American women: buffering influence of family support

    PubMed Central

    Jewell, Shannon L.; Luecken, Linda J.; Gress-Smith, Jenna; Crnic, Keith A.; Gonzales, Nancy A.

    2016-01-01

    Low-income Mexican American women experience significant health disparities during the postpartum period. Contextual stressors, such as economic stress, are theorized to affect health via dysregulated cortisol output. However, cultural protective factors including strong family support may buffer the impact of stress. In a sample of 322 low-income Mexican American women (mother age 18–42; 84% Spanish-speaking; modal family income $10,000–$15,000), we examined the interactive influence of economic stress and family support at 6 weeks postpartum on maternal cortisol output (AUCg) during a mildly challenging mother-infant interaction task at 12 weeks postpartum, controlling for 6 week maternal cortisol and depressive symptoms. The interaction significantly predicted cortisol output such that higher economic stress predicted higher cortisol only among women reporting low family support. These results suggest that family support is an important protective resource for postpartum Mexican American women experiencing elevated economic stress. PMID:26332931

  17. Facebook behaviors associated with diurnal cortisol in adolescents: Is befriending stressful?

    PubMed

    Morin-Major, Julie Katia; Marin, Marie-France; Durand, Nadia; Wan, Nathalie; Juster, Robert-Paul; Lupien, Sonia J

    2016-01-01

    Facebook(©) is changing the way people interact and socialize. Despite great interest in psychology and sociology, little is known about Facebook behaviors in relation to physiological markers of stress. Given that the brain undergoes important development during adolescence and that glucocorticoids--a major class of stress hormones-are known to modulate its development, it is important to study psychosocial factors that may influence secretion of stress hormones during adolescence. The goal of the present study was to explore the associations between Facebook behaviors (use frequency, network size, self-presentation and peer-interaction) and basal levels of cortisol among adolescent boys and girls. Eighty-eight adolescents (41 boys, 47 girls) aged between 12 and 17 (14.5 ± 1.8) were recruited. Participants provided four cortisol samples per day for two non-consecutive weekdays. Facebook behaviors were assessed in accordance with the existing literature. Well-validated measures of perceived stress, perceived social support, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms were also included. A hierarchical regression showed that after controlling for sex, age, time of awakening, perceived stress, and perceived social support, cortisol systemic output (area under the curve with respect to ground) was positively associated with the number of Facebook friends and negatively associated with Facebook peer-interaction. No associations were found among depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and cortisol. These results provide preliminary evidence that Facebook behaviors are associated with diurnal cortisol concentrations in adolescents.

  18. Prenatal cortisol exposure predicts infant cortisol response to acute stress.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Thomas G; Bergman, Kristin; Sarkar, Pampa; Glover, Vivette

    2013-03-01

    Experimental animal findings suggest that early stress and glucocorticoid exposure may program the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the offspring. The extension of these findings to human development is not yet clear. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted on 125 mothers and their normally developing children. Amniotic fluid was obtained at, on average, 17.2 weeks gestation; infant behavior and cortisol response to a separation-reunion stress was assessed at 17 months. Amniotic fluid cortisol predicted infant cortisol response to separation-reunion stress: infants who were exposed to higher levels of cortisol in utero showed higher pre-stress cortisol values and blunted response to stress exposure. The association was independent of prenatal, obstetric, and socioeconomic factors and child-parent attachment. The findings provide some of the strongest data in humans that HPA axis functioning in the child may be predicted from prenatal cortisol exposure.

  19. The Association between Hair Cortisol and Self-Reported Symptoms of Depression in Pregnant Women

    PubMed Central

    Wikenius, Ellen; Moe, Vibeke; Kjellevold, Marian; Smith, Lars; Lyle, Robert; Waagbø, Rune; Page, Christian Magnus; Myhre, Anne Margrethe

    2016-01-01

    Depression has been linked to an imbalance in cortisol. Until recently, cortisol has been studied by measuring concentrations at single time points in blood or saliva samples. Cortisol concentrations vary with circadian rhythm and experiences, from time point to time point. The measurement of hair cortisol concentration (HCC) is a new method of accessing mean, long-term cortisol concentrations. Recent studies show positive associations between depression and HCC, and prenatal maternal cortisol is thought to influence the developing fetus. We therefore examined the association between HCC and self-reported symptoms of depression in second trimester pregnant women. Participants were 181 women, recruited between September 2011 and October 2013 to the Little-in-Norway (LiN)-study. These women answered the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Rating Scale (EPDS) on self-reported symptoms of depression, and one cm maternal scalp hair was collected and analyzed for cortisol concentrations. Multiple regression analyses did not show depressive symptoms as a predictor for HCC in our selection of pregnant women, while gestational age was significantly related. In conclusion, our study indicated that symptoms of depression during pregnancy did not predict HCC, but further studies of clinically depressed, pregnant women using gestational age as an adjustment variable are warranted. PMID:27584584

  20. The influence of maternal care and overprotection on youth adrenocortical stress response: a multiphase growth curve analysis.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Lopez, Chrystal; Chaudoir, Stephenie; Bublitz, Margaret; O'Reilly Treter, Maggie; Stroud, Laura

    2016-11-01

    We examined the association between two dimensions of maternal parenting style (care and overprotection) and cortisol response to an acute laboratory-induced stressor in healthy youth. Forty-three participants completed the Parental Bonding Instrument and an adapted version of the Trier Social Stress Test-Child (TSST-C). Nine cortisol samples were collected to investigate heterogeneity in different phases of youth's stress response. Multiphase growth-curve modeling was utilized to create latent factors corresponding to individual differences in cortisol during baseline, reactivity, and recovery to the TSST-C. Youth report of maternal overprotection was associated with lower baseline cortisol levels, and a slower cortisol decline during recovery, controlling for maternal care, puberty, and gender. No additive or interactive effects involving maternal care emerged. These findings suggest that maternal overprotection may exert a unique and important influence on youth's stress response.

  1. Time-dependent effects of low-dose aspirin on plasma renin activity, aldosterone, cortisol, and catecholamines.

    PubMed

    Snoep, Jaapjan D; Hovens, Marcel M C; Pasha, Sharif M; Frölich, Marijke; Pijl, Hanno; Tamsma, Jouke T; Huisman, Menno V

    2009-11-01

    Studies have shown that aspirin may decrease blood pressure when given at bedtime but not when administered on awakening. However, until now, a biologically plausible mechanism of this striking phenomenon was not revealed. We investigated the effect of 100 mg of aspirin administered at bedtime compared with administration on awakening on plasma renin activity and aldosterone levels over 24 hours and excretion of cortisol and catecholamines in 24-hour urine samples. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial was performed in 16 grade 1 hypertensive subjects. During 2 periods of 2 weeks separated by a 4-week washout period, participants used aspirin both at morning and at night, which was blinded with placebo. After both periods, subjects were admitted for 24 hours to measure the aforementioned parameters. Aspirin intake at bedtime compared with on awakening reduced average (24-hour) plasma renin activity by 0.08 microg/L per hour (95% CI: 0.03 to 0.13 microg/L per hour; P=0.003) without affecting aldosterone levels (95% CI: -0.01 to 0.01 nmol/L; P=0.93). Cortisol excretion in 24-hour urine was 52 nmol/24 hours (95% CI: 5 to 99 nmol/24 hours; P=0.05) lower, and dopamine and norepinephrine excretions were 0.25 micromol/24 hours (95% CI: 0.01 to 0.48 micromol/24 hours; P=0.04) and 0.22 micromol/24 hours (95% CI: -0.03 to 0.46 micromol/24 hours; P=0.02) lower in patients treated with bedtime aspirin. In conclusion, aspirin taken at bedtime compared with on awakening significantly diminished 24-hour plasma renin activity and excretion of cortisol, dopamine, and norepinephrine in 24-hour urine. Decreased activity of these pressor systems forms a biologically plausible explanation for the finding that aspirin at night may reduce blood pressure, whereas aspirin at morning does not.

  2. Yawning, fatigue, and cortisol: expanding the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Simon B N

    2014-10-01

    Yawning and its involvement in neurological disorders has become the new scientific conundrum. Cortisol levels are known to rise during stress and fatigue; yawning may occur when we are under stress or tired. However, the link between yawning, fatigue, and cortisol has not been fully understood. Expansion of the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis proposes that the stress hormone, cortisol, is responsible for yawning and fatigue especially in people with incomplete innervation such as multiple sclerosis. This informs our understanding of the functional importance of the brain stem region of the brain in regulating stress and fatigue.

  3. Quantitative Relations of Fetal and Maternal Pitiutary - Adrenal Systems I. EFFECTS OF MATERNAL HYPOPHYSECTOMY

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, B. T.; Rauschecker, H. F. J.; Piasecki, G. J.

    1973-01-01

    Even though certain aspects of the fetal pituitary-adrenal system have been extensively studied, much remains to be learned of its basic development and function. In the present work, the effect of maternal hypophysectomy upon quantitative pituitary-adrenal relations in mother and fetus was investigated in pregnant beagle dogs. At 57 days gestation in each of seven normal animals and seven animals 3 wk posthypophysectomy, a cannula for collection of adrenal effluent was placed in a single fetus in utero under halothane anesthesia. A timed fetal adrenal sample was obtained; ACTH (10 mU) was injected into the fetus; 3 min thereafter a second fetal adrenal sample was collected and fetal and maternal peripheral arterial samples were drawn. All fetuses and their adrenal glands were weighed. Concentrations of cortisol and corticosterone were determined by a modification of the double-isotope dilution derivative method of Kliman and Peterson. Mean peripheral cortisol concentrations in mother and fetus were 92 and 94 ng/ml, respectively (ratio 1.0), in normal pregnancies and 11 and 54 ng/ml, respectively (ratio 0.2), in maternal hypophysectomy pregnancies. Weights of fetal adrenal gland pairs of 32 and 44 mg, respectively, in normal and hypophysectomy pregnancies indicate increased fetal ACTH secretion in response to lowered circulating cortisol in the fetus secondary to maternal hypophysectomy. These data demonstrate the presence of an active pituitary-adrenal feedback mechanism in the dog fetus which is partly influenced by maternal pituitary-adrenal function. The shift in the maternal-fetal ratio of peripheral cortisol concentrations from 1.0 to 0.2 occasioned by maternal hypophysectomy neither supports nor rules out the presence of specific placental mechanisms affecting relative concentrations of cortisol in mother and fetus. It does suggest, however, that the relative steroid input into maternal and fetal compartments is one of the factors which influences such

  4. Diurnal redistribution of human lymphocytes and their temporal associations with salivary cortisol.

    PubMed

    Trifonova, Slavena T; Zimmer, Jacques; Turner, Jonathan D; Muller, Claude P

    2013-06-01

    Immune cell trafficking is crucial for surveillance and effector functions of the immune system. Circadian rhythms of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and of cortisol have been implicated in circadian redistribution of circulating lymphocytes and granulocytes. However, information regarding the diurnal redistribution of immune cells and their temporal correlations with cortisol is scarce. In this study, we investigated the diurnal redistribution of T, B, and natural killer (NK) cell subsets in relation to the endogenous cortisol rhythm. Saliva and blood samples were collected every 15 min over an 8-h period. Salivary-free cortisol was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Surface markers (CD3, CD19, CD8, CD56, CD16, KIR) were measured in whole blood samples by 6-color flow cytometry and cell subsets quantified as a percentage of the total lymphocyte population. To study associations between the diurnal cortisol rhythm and the redistribution of T, B, and NK cells, we calculated cross-correlations with lag periods of 15 min. The salivary cortisol levels showed the typical diurnal variations with a significant morning cortisol awakening response (CAR) peaking around 07:30 h followed by an afternoon nadir. Whereas B cells remained stable throughout the 8 h, T cells (CD3 + CD8+ and CD3 + CD8-) showed a significant positive cross-correlation with cortisol levels when a delay of 30-105 min was taken into account. This was followed by a negative correlation covering a period of 165-285 min after the cortisol peak. Conversely, NK cells showed an initial negative correlation at 45-105 min, followed by a positive correlation at 120-285 min. The major CD56 + CD16+ subset and the CD56 - CD16+ population showed similar temporal correlation profiles. The minor CD56 + CD16- NK cell subset showed no temporal changes. The major NK subset (CD56 + CD16+) contains cells with higher cytolytic activity (KIR+) cells, whereas the single

  5. High Cardiorespiratory Fitness Is Negatively Associated with Daily Cortisol Output in Healthy Aging Men

    PubMed Central

    Lucertini, Francesco; Ponzio, Elisa; Di Palma, Michael; Galati, Claudia; Federici, Ario; Barbadoro, Pamela; D’Errico, Marcello M.; Prospero, Emilia; Ambrogini, Patrizia; Cuppini, Riccardo; Lattanzi, Davide; Minelli, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Physical fitness has salutary psychological and physical effects in older adults by promoting neuroplasticity and adaptation to stress. In aging, however, the effects of fitness on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are mixed. We investigated the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and HPA activity in healthy elderly men (n = 22, mean age 68 y; smokers, obese subjects, those taking drugs or reporting recent stressful events were excluded), by measuring in saliva: i) daily pattern of cortisol secretion (6 samples: 30’ post-awakening, and at 12.00, 15.00, 18.00, 21.00, 24.00 h); and ii) the cortisol response to a mental challenge. Cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) was estimated using the Rockport Walking Test and the participants were assigned to high-fit (HF, ≥60°, n = 10) and low-fit (LF, ≤35°, n = 12) groups according to age-specific percentiles of VO2max distribution in the general population. At all daytimes, basal cortisol levels were lower in the HF than the LF group, most notably in the evening and midnight samples, with a significant main effect of physical fitness for cortisol levels overall; the area-under-the-curve for total daily cortisol output was significantly smaller in the HF group. Among the subjects who responded to mental stress (baseline-to-peak increment >1.5 nmol/L; n = 13, 5 LF, 8 HF), the amplitude of cortisol response and the steepness of recovery decline displayed an increasing trend in the HF subjects, although between-group differences failed to reach the threshold for significance. In conclusion, cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy aging men is negatively correlated with daily cortisol output and contributes to buffering the HPA dysregulation that occurs with advancing age, thus possibly playing a beneficial role in contrasting age-related cognitive and physical decline. PMID:26529517

  6. Influence of menarche on the relation between diurnal cortisol production and ventral striatum activity during reward anticipation

    PubMed Central

    LeMoult, Joelle; Colich, Natalie L.; Sherdell, Lindsey; Hamilton, J. Paul; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2015-01-01

    Adolescence is characterized by an increase in risk-taking and reward-seeking behaviors. In other populations, increased risk taking has been associated with tighter coupling between cortisol production and ventral striatum (VS) activation during reward anticipation; this relation has not yet been examined, however, as a function of adolescent development. This study examined the influence of pubertal development on the association between diurnal cortisol production and VS activity during reward anticipation. Pre- and post-menarcheal girls collected diurnal cortisol and completed an functional magnetic resonance imaging-based monetary incentive delay task, from which we extracted estimates of VS activity during the anticipation of reward, anticipation of loss and anticipation of non-incentive neutral trials. Post-menarcheal girls showed greater coupling between the cortisol awakening response and VS activation during anticipation of reward and loss than did their pre-menarcheal counterparts. Post-menarcheal girls did not differ from pre-menarcheal girls in their cortisol-VS coupling during anticipation of neutral trials, suggesting that puberty-related changes in cortisol-VS coupling are specific to affective stimuli. Interestingly, behavioral responses during the task indicate that post-menarcheal girls are faster to engage with affective stimuli than are pre-menarcheal girls. Thus, post-menarcheal girls exhibit neurobiological and behavioral patterns that have been associated with risk taking and that may underlie the dramatic increase in risk-taking behavior documented during adolescence. PMID:25678549

  7. Influence of menarche on the relation between diurnal cortisol production and ventral striatum activity during reward anticipation.

    PubMed

    LeMoult, Joelle; Colich, Natalie L; Sherdell, Lindsey; Hamilton, J Paul; Gotlib, Ian H

    2015-09-01

    Adolescence is characterized by an increase in risk-taking and reward-seeking behaviors. In other populations, increased risk taking has been associated with tighter coupling between cortisol production and ventral striatum (VS) activation during reward anticipation; this relation has not yet been examined, however, as a function of adolescent development. This study examined the influence of pubertal development on the association between diurnal cortisol production and VS activity during reward anticipation. Pre- and post-menarcheal girls collected diurnal cortisol and completed an functional magnetic resonance imaging-based monetary incentive delay task, from which we extracted estimates of VS activity during the anticipation of reward, anticipation of loss and anticipation of non-incentive neutral trials. Post-menarcheal girls showed greater coupling between the cortisol awakening response and VS activation during anticipation of reward and loss than did their pre-menarcheal counterparts. Post-menarcheal girls did not differ from pre-menarcheal girls in their cortisol-VS coupling during anticipation of neutral trials, suggesting that puberty-related changes in cortisol-VS coupling are specific to affective stimuli. Interestingly, behavioral responses during the task indicate that post-menarcheal girls are faster to engage with affective stimuli than are pre-menarcheal girls. Thus, post-menarcheal girls exhibit neurobiological and behavioral patterns that have been associated with risk taking and that may underlie the dramatic increase in risk-taking behavior documented during adolescence.

  8. Psychobiological Influences on Maternal Sensitivity in the Context of Adversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finegood, Eric D.; Blair, Clancy; Granger, Douglas A.; Hibel, Leah C.; Mills-Koonce, Roger

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated prospective longitudinal relations among an index of poverty-related cumulative risk, maternal salivary cortisol, child negative affect, and maternal sensitivity across the first 2 postpartum years. Participants included 1,180 biological mothers residing in rural and predominantly low-income communities in the United States.…

  9. Transfer of maternal psychosocial stress to the fetus.

    PubMed

    Rakers, Florian; Rupprecht, Sven; Dreiling, Michelle; Bergmeier, Christoph; Witte, Otto W; Schwab, Matthias

    2017-02-22

    Psychosocial maternal stress experienced during different vulnerable periods throughout gestation is thought to increase the individual's risk to develop neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular and metabolic disease in later life. Cortisol has generally been identified as the major mediator of maternal stress transfer to the fetus. Its lipophilic nature allows a trans-placental passage and thus excessive maternal cortisol could persistently impair the development of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA). However, cortisol alone cannot fully explain all effects of maternal stress especially during early to mid pregnancy before maturation of the fetal HPAA has even begun and expression of fetal glucocorticoid receptors is limited. This review focuses on mediators of maternal fetal stress transfer that in addition to cortisol have been proposed as transmitters of maternal stress: catecholamines, cytokines, serotonin/tryptophan, reactive-oxygen-species and the maternal microbiota. We propose that the effects of psychosocial maternal stress on fetal development and health and disease in later life are not a consequence of a single pathway but are mediated by multiple stress-transfer mechanisms acting together in a synergistic manner.

  10. Nighttime awakenings responding to gabapentin therapy in late premenopausal women: a case series.

    PubMed

    Guttuso, Thomas

    2012-04-15

    Insomnia related to nighttime awakenings is known to be more prevalent in women than men. Three cases are presented here of late premenopausal women experiencing frequent nighttime awakenings that responded well to bedtime treatment with gabapentin. In one case, what started as isolated nighttime awakenings slowly progressed to awakenings accompanied by typical menopausal night sweats. This led to the theory that the initial isolated nighttime awakenings in this patient may have been secondary to a menopausal etiology related to low serum estradiol levels. In the subsequent 2 cases, early follicular phase serum estradiol was confirmed to be low. It is theorized that isolated nighttime awakenings in some premenopausal women may be caused by low serum estradiol, triggering events physiologically related to menopausal night sweats. Further research is needed to determine if low early follicular phase serum estradiol is associated with nighttime awakenings in premenopausal women not experiencing night sweats.

  11. Recent and long-term occupational noise exposure and salivary cortisol level.

    PubMed

    Stokholm, Zara Ann; Hansen, Åse Marie; Grynderup, Matias Brødsgaard; Bonde, Jens Peter; Christensen, Kent Lodberg; Frederiksen, Thomas Winther; Lund, Søren Peter; Vestergaard, Jesper Medom; Kolstad, Henrik Albert

    2014-01-01

    Environmental and occupational noise exposure have been related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypothetically mediated by stress-activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The objective of this study was to investigate the relation between recent and long-term occupational noise exposure and cortisol level measured off work to assess a possible sustained HPA-axis effect. We included 501 industrial, finance, and service workers who were followed for 24h during work, leisure, and sleep. Ambient occupational noise exposure levels were recorded every 5s by personal dosimeters and we calculated the full-shift LAEq value and estimated duration and cumulative exposure based on their work histories since 1980. For 332 workers who kept a log-book on the use of hearing protection devices (HPD), we subtracted 10 dB from every noise recording obtained during HPD use and estimated the noise level at the ear. Salivary cortisol concentration was measured at 20.00 h, the following day at awakening, and 30 min after awakening on average 5, 14 and 14.5h after finishing work. The mean ambient noise exposure level was 79.9 dB(A) [range: 55.0-98.9] and the mean estimated level at the ear 77.7 dB(A) [range: 55.0-94.2]. In linear and mixed regression models that adjusted for age, sex, current smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, personal income, BMI, leisure-time noise exposure level, time since occupational noise exposure ceased, awakening time, and time of saliva sampling, we observed no statistically significant exposure response relation between recent, or long-term ambient occupational noise exposure level and any cortisol parameter off work. This was neither the case for recent noise level at the ear. To conclude, neither recent nor long-term occupational noise exposure levels were associated with increased cortisol level off work. Thus, our results do not indicate that a sustained activation of the HPA axis, as measured by cortisol, is involved in

  12. Blunted serum and enhanced salivary free cortisol concentrations in the chronic phase after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage--is stress the culprit?

    PubMed

    Poll, E M; Gilsbach, J M; Hans, F-J; Kreitschmann-Andermahr, I

    2013-03-01

    Spontaneous aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is a cause of stroke, which constitutes a severe trauma to the brain and may lead to serious long-term medical, psychosocial and endocrinological sequelae. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone deficiency, which is considered to occur in up to 20% of all survivors, is a possible consequence of bleeding. Moreover, preliminary data suggest that a poor psychosocial outcome in SAH survivors is linked to alterations in cortisol secretion. Despite these findings, investigation of diurnal cortisol profiles and the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in chronic SAH patients has not been done so far. In this study, basal serum cortisol and salivary cortisol concentration profiles were investigated in 31 SAH patients more than 1 year after the acute event and in 25 healthy controls. Additionally, low-dose dexamethasone (DEX) suppression tests were conducted, and sensitivity to stress was measured with a psychometric questionnaire (Neuropattern(TM)). Although significantly higher salivary cortisol concentrations were observed on waking in SAH patients (p = 0.013, ANOVA), without a CAR change, total serum cortisol concentrations were blunted, but only in patients with high levels of perceived stress (SAH high stress: 337 nmol/l, SAH low stress: 442 nmol/l, controls: 467 nmol/l; Controls vs. SAH high stress p = 0.018). DEX suppression of cortisol secretion was not significantly different between patients and controls. The results indicate that total (serum) and free (salivary) cortisol concentrations give different information about cortisol availability in patients after aneurysmal SAH. Enhanced free cortisol concentrations may reflect a meaningful biological coping mechanism in SAH patients.

  13. Prenatal Cocaine Exposure Alters Cortisol Stress Reactivity in 11 Year Old Children

    PubMed Central

    Lester, Barry M.; LaGasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta S.; Bauer, Charles R.; Lin, Richard; Das, Abhik; Higgins, Rosemary

    2011-01-01

    Objective Determine the association between prenatal cocaine exposure and postnatal environmental adversity on salivary cortisol stress reactivity in school aged children. Study design Subjects included 743 11 year old children (n=320 cocaine exposed; 423 comparison) followed since birth in a longitudinal prospective multisite study. Saliva samples were collected to measure cortisol at baseline and after a standardized procedure to induce psychological stress. Children were divided into those who showed an increase in cortisol from baseline to post stress and those who showed a decrease or blunted cortisol response. Covariates measured included site, birthweight, maternal pre and postnatal use of alcohol, tobacco or marijuana, social class, changes in caretakers, maternal depression and psychological symptoms, domestic and community violence, child abuse and quality of the home. Results With adjustment for confounding variables, cortisol reactivity to stress was more likely to be blunted in children with prenatal cocaine exposure. Cocaine exposed children exposed to domestic violence showed the strongest effects. Conclusion The combination of prenatal cocaine exposure and an adverse postnatal environment could down regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) resulting in the blunted cortisol response to stress possibly increasing risk for later psychopathology and adult disease. PMID:20400094

  14. Are neuroticism and extraversion related to morning cortisol release in healthy older people?

    PubMed

    Puig-Perez, Sara; Almela, Mercedes; Pulopulos, Matías M; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Salvador, Alicia

    2016-12-01

    The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a discrete component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) function that has been widely related to both health and some personality traits. There is evidence that neuroticism and extraversion affect health and well-being and play a damaging or protective role, respectively. In this study, we aimed to explore the relationship between these personality dimensions and morning cortisol concentrations in people aged 55 or older. To do so, morning saliva samples were collected on two consecutive weekdays from a total of 160 older men and women. Neuroticism and extraversion were assessed using the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised, short form (EPQ-RS). Our results showed that neuroticism was negatively related to overall morning cortisol concentrations (AUCG) (i.e., area under the curve with respect to the ground in cortisol levels), but not to the CAR. When we explored sex as a moderator, neuroticism was related to a CAR of increased magnitude in women, although this relationship was not significant in men. No significant relationships were found between extraversion and CAR or AUCG, regardless of sex. In conclusion, neuroticism - but not extraversion - was related to HPA-axis function in older adults, highlighting its potential relevance in health alterations associated with HPA-axis functioning.

  15. Cortisol dysregulation: the bidirectional link between stress, depression, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Joshua J; Golden, Sherita H

    2017-03-01

    Controversy exists over the role of stress and depression in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Depression has been shown to increase the risk for progressive insulin resistance and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus in multiple studies, whereas the association of stress with diabetes is less clear, owing to differences in study designs and in forms and ascertainment of stress. The biological systems involved in adaptation that mediate the link between stress and physiological functions include the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous and immune systems. The HPA axis is a tightly regulated system that represents one of the body's mechanisms for responding to acute and chronic stress. Depression is associated with cross-sectional and longitudinal alterations in the diurnal cortisol curve, including a blunted cortisol awakening response and flattening of the diurnal cortisol curve. Flattening of the diurnal cortisol curve is also associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this article, we review and summarize the evidence supporting HPA axis dysregulation as an important biological link between stress, depression, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  16. Stress, cortisol, and B lymphocytes: a novel approach to understanding academic stress and immune function.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Bonnie A; Murphy, Karly M; Albano, Denise L; Ceballos, Rachel M

    2016-01-01

    Animal and human in vitro models suggest that stress-related B lymphocyte decrements are due to high levels of glucocorticoids which cause apoptosis of pre-B-cells as they emerge from the bone marrow. The present study sought to explore the relationships among distress, salivary cortisol, and human B lymphocytes in vivo. Distress (perceived stress, negative affect, depressive symptoms), lymphocyte phenotype, and salivary cortisol were assessed among first-year graduate students (n = 22) and a community control sample (n = 30) at the start of classes in the fall and the week immediately before spring preliminary exams. Compared to controls, students reported greater distress on all measures at each time point except baseline perceived stress. Hierarchical linear regression with necessary control variables was used to assess the effect of student status on the three measures of distress, the four measures of lymphocyte phenotype, and cortisol AUC and CAR over time (T1-T2). Student status was associated with a significant decrease in CD19 + B lymphocytes and flattened cortisol awakening response (CAR). Change in CAR was associated with the decrease in CD19 + B lymphocytes. Results indicated that there are significant associations among student status, flattening of CAR, and decrements in CD19 + lymphocytes.

  17. Childhood Adversity, Self-Esteem, and Diurnal Cortisol Profiles Across the Life Span.

    PubMed

    Zilioli, Samuele; Slatcher, Richard B; Chi, Peilian; Li, Xiaoming; Zhao, Junfeng; Zhao, Guoxiang

    2016-09-01

    Childhood adversity is associated with poor health outcomes in adulthood; the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been proposed as a crucial biological intermediary of these long-term effects. Here, we tested whether childhood adversity was associated with diurnal cortisol parameters and whether this link was partially explained by self-esteem. In both adults and youths, childhood adversity was associated with lower levels of cortisol at awakening, and this association was partially driven by low self-esteem. Further, we found a significant indirect pathway through which greater adversity during childhood was linked to a flatter cortisol slope via self-esteem. Finally, youths who had a caregiver with high self-esteem experienced a steeper decline in cortisol throughout the day compared with youths whose caregiver reported low self-esteem. We conclude that self-esteem is a plausible psychological mechanism through which childhood adversity may get embedded in the activity of the HPA axis across the life span.

  18. The CIRCORT database: Reference ranges and seasonal changes in diurnal salivary cortisol derived from a meta-dataset comprised of 15 field studies

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Robert; Stalder, Tobias; Jarczok, Marc; Almeida, David M.; Badrick, Ellena; Bartels, Meike; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Coe, Christopher L.; Dekker, Marieke C. J.; Donzella, Bonny; Fischer, Joachim E.; Gunnar, Megan R.; Kumari, Meena; Lederbogen, Florian; Oldehinkel, Albertine J.; Power, Christine; Rosmalen, Judith G.; Ryff, Carol D.; Subramanian, S V; Tiemeier, Henning; Watamura, Sarah E.; Kirschbaum, Clemens

    2016-01-01

    Diurnal salivary cortisol profiles are valuable indicators of adrenocortical functioning in epidemiological research and clinical practice. However, normative reference values derived from a large number of participants and across a wide age range are still missing. To fill this gap, data were compiled from 15 independently conducted field studies with a total of 104,623 salivary cortisol samples obtained from 18,698 unselected individuals (mean age: 48.3 years, age range: 0.5 to 98.5 years, 39% females). Besides providing a descriptive analysis of the complete dataset, we also performed mixed-effects growth curve modeling of diurnal salivary cortisol (i.e., 1 to 16 hours after awakening). Cortisol decreased significantly across the day and was influenced by both, age and sex. Intriguingly, we also found a pronounced impact of sampling season with elevated diurnal cortisol in spring and decreased levels in autumn. However, the majority of variance was accounted for by between-participant and between-study variance components. Based on these analyses, reference ranges (LC/MS-MS calibrated) for cortisol concentrations in saliva were derived for different times across the day, with more specific reference ranges generated for males and females in different age categories. This integrative summary provides important reference values on salivary cortisol to aid basic scientists and clinicians in interpreting deviations from the normal diurnal cycle. PMID:27448524

  19. POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, SMOKING, AND CORTISOL IN A COMMUNITY SAMPLE OF PREGNANT WOMEN

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, William D; Seng, Julia S

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the United States is higher among pregnant women than women generally. PTSD is related to adverse birth outcomes via physiological and behavioral alterations, such as smoking. We utilize salivary cortisol measures to examine how traumatic stress, smoking and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis interact. Pregnant women (n =395) gave cortisol specimens as part of a cohort study of PTSD and pregnancy at three health systems in the Midwestern United States. Women were divided into three groups: nonsmokers, quitters (who stopped smoking during pregnancy), and pregnancy smokers. Mean cortisol values at three points, sociodemographics, trauma history, and PTSD were compared across groups. We assessed the association of smoking group and PTSD with late afternoon cortisol levels. Smokers, quitters, and nonsmokers differed on demographic risk factors and PTSD symptom load. Late afternoon and bedtime cortisol measures were significantly positively correlated with smoking in pregnancy, with smokers with PTSD presenting the highest cortisol levels. Regression analysis showed that smoking in pregnancy was associated with higher late afternoon cortisol in an additive manner with PTSD symptoms. Smoking appears to have a different relationship with cortisol level for those with and without PTSD. This is the first study to show additive effects of smoking and PTSD on cortisol levels in pregnant women. Since high cortisol, smoking, and PTSD have been shown to adversely affect perinatal outcomes, and since those continuing to smoke in pregnancy had the highest PTSD symptom load, PTSD-specific smoking cessation programs in maternity settings are warranted. PMID:24926909

  20. Daily salivary cortisol profile: Insights from the Croatian Late Adolescence Stress Study (CLASS)

    PubMed Central

    Šupe-Domić, Daniela; Milas, Goran; Hofman, Irena Drmić; Rumora, Lada; Klarić, Irena Martinović

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The aim of the study was to examine basal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and to determine associations of various covariates (gender, sleep-wake rhythm, demographic, academic, life style and health-related characteristics) with altered daily salivary cortisol profiles in late adolescence. Materials and methods The total analytic sample consisted of 903 Croatian secondary school students aged 18 - 21 years (median 19 years). Salivary cortisol was sampled at home at three time points over the course of one week and its concentrations were measured by using the enzyme immunoassay. Results In comparison to males, female students had a higher cortisol awakening response (CAR) (median 4.69, IQR 10.46 and median 3.03, IQR 8.94, respectively; P < 0.001), a steeper (“healthier”) diurnal cortisol slope (DCS) (median 0.51, IQR 0.55 and median 0.44, IQR 0.51, respectively; P = 0.001), and a greater area under curve with respect to ground (AUCG) (median 206.79, IQR 111.78 and median 191.46, IQR 104.18, respectively; P < 0.001). Those students who woke-up earlier and were awake longer, had a higher CAR (P < 0.001), a flatter (“less healthy”) DCS (P < 0.001), and a greater AUCG (P < 0.001), than students who woke-up later and were awake shorter. Less consistent but still significant predictors of salivary cortisol indexes were age, school behaviour, friendship, diet healthiness and drug abuse. Conclusion Gender and sleep-wake up rhythm were major determinants of the altered daily salivary cortisol profiles in late adolescence. The predictive power of other covariates, although less clear, has a potential for identifying vulnerable subgroups such as male drug users and females without a best friend. PMID:27812308

  1. Combined Influences of Genes, Prenatal Environment, Cortisol, and Parenting on the Development of Children's Internalizing Versus Externalizing Problems.

    PubMed

    Marceau, Kristine; Laurent, Heidemarie K; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Reiss, David; Shaw, Daniel S; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Fisher, Philip A; Leve, Leslie D

    2015-05-01

    Research suggests that genetic, prenatal, endocrine, and parenting influences across development individually contribute to internalizing and externalizing problems in children. The present study tests the combined contributions of genetic risk for psychopathology, prenatal environments (maternal drug use and internalizing symptoms), child cortisol at age 4.5 years, and overreactive parenting influences across childhood on 6-year-old children's internalizing and externalizing problems. We used data from an adoption design that included 361 domestically adopted children and their biological and adopted parents prospectively followed from birth. Only parenting influences contributed (independently) to externalizing problems. However, genetic influences were indirectly associated with internalizing problems (through increased prenatal risk and subsequent morning cortisol), and parenting factors were both directly and indirectly associated with internalizing problems (through morning cortisol). Results suggest that prenatal maternal drug use/symptoms and children's morning cortisol levels are mechanisms of genetic and environmental influences on internalizing problems, but not externalizing problems, in childhood.

  2. Combined influences of genes, prenatal environment, cortisol, and parenting on the development of children’s internalizing vs. externalizing problems

    PubMed Central

    Marceau, Kristine; Laurent, Heidemarie K.; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Reiss, David; Shaw, Daniel S.; Natsuaki, Misaki; Fisher, Philip A.; Leve, Leslie D.

    2014-01-01

    Research suggests that genetic, prenatal, endocrine, and parenting influences across development individually contribute to internalizing and externalizing problems in children. The present study tests the combined contributions of genetic risk for psychopathology, prenatal environments (maternal drug use and internalizing symptoms), child cortisol at age 4.5 years, and overreactive parenting influences across childhood on 6-year-old children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. We used data from an adoption design that included 361 domestically adopted children and their biological and adopted parents prospectively followed from birth. Only parenting influences contributed (independently) to externalizing problems. However, genetic influences were indirectly associated with internalizing problems (through increased prenatal risk and subsequent morning cortisol), and parenting factors were both directly and indirectly associated with internalizing problems (through morning cortisol). Results suggest that prenatal maternal drug use/symptoms and children’s morning cortisol levels are mechanisms of genetic and environmental influences on internalizing problems, but not externalizing problems, in childhood. PMID:25355319

  3. What dyadic reparation is meant to do: An association with infant cortisol reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Mitho; Zietlow, Anna-Lena; Tronick, Ed; Reck, Corinna

    2015-01-01

    Background The latency to reparation of interactive mismatches (interactive repair) is argued to regulate infant distress on a psychobiological level and maternal anxiety disorders might impair infant regulation. Sampling & Methods N = 46 dyads (n = 19 mothers with an anxiety disorder, n = 27 controls) were analyzed for associations between interactive repair and infant cortisol reactivity during the Face-to-Face-Still-Face 3–4 months postpartum. Missing cortisol values (n = 16) were imputed. Analyses were conducted on both the original and the pooled imputed data. Results Interactive repair during the reunion episode was associated with infant cortisol reactivity (original data: p < .01; pooled data: p < .01), but not maternal anxiety disorder (p > .23). Additional stepwise regression analyses found that latency to repair during play (p < .01), an interaction between distress during the first trimester of pregnancy and latency to repair during reunion (p < .01) and infant self-comforting behaviors during the reunion episode (p = .04) made independent contributions to cortisol reactivity in the final regression model. Conclusions & Limitations This is the first study demonstrating that interactive repair is related to infant psychobiological stress reactivity. The lack of a relation to maternal anxiety disorder may be due to the small sample size. However, this result emphasizes that infants respond to what they experience and not to the maternal diagnostic category. PMID:26550998

  4. Intra-individual stability and developmental change in hair cortisol among postpartum mothers and infants: Implications for understanding chronic stress.

    PubMed

    Liu, Cindy H; Snidman, Nancy; Leonard, Alexandra; Meyer, Jerrold; Tronick, Ed

    2016-05-01

    The study goal was to determine the intra-individual stability, developmental change, and maternal-reported correlates (socio-demographic, stress experiences, hair characteristics, and care) of hair cortisol in mothers and their infants. To assess cortisol deposition in hair during the periods of 6-to-9 months and 9-to-12 months of age, 3 cm segments of hair samples deemed to represent approximately 3 months of retrospective hair cortisol were sampled longitudinally at 9- and 12-months in 41 mothers and infants. Bivariate correlations and mean level comparisons of log-transformed hair cortisol levels at 9- (T1) and 12-months (T2) in mothers and infants were examined. Hair cortisol values were positively correlated from T1 to T2 for mothers (r = .41, p < .05) and infants (r = .39, p < .05). Hair cortisol values did not significantly differ from T1 to T2 in infants but decreased for mothers (F(1,34) = 9.2, p < .01). Maternal and infant hair cortisol was not associated with each other at either time point. Self-reported measures of stress, and hair characteristics and care were not associated with hair cortisol. This is the first study to obtain hair cortisol from more than one time point within the first year after birth in mothers and infants. The intra-individual stability of hair cortisol suggests that it may be a possible biomarker for detecting change in chronic stress experiences within the first year of life and in the postpartum period.

  5. Normal cortisol response to cold pressor test, but lower free thyroxine, after recovery from undernutrition.

    PubMed

    Martins, Vinicius J B; Neves, Andrea P O; Garcia, Márcia C; Spadari, Regina C; Clemente, Ana Paula G; de Albuquerque, Maria P; Hoffman, Daniel J; Sawaya, Ana L

    2016-01-14

    Undernutrition is a stressor with long-term consequences, and the effect of nutritional recovery on cortisol and thyroid hormone status is unknown. To investigate basal thyroid hormones and the cortisol response to a cold pressor test in children recovered from undernutrition, a cross-sectional study was undertaken on children (6-16 years) separated into four groups: control (n 41), stunted (n 31), underweight (n 27) and recovered (n 31). Salivary cortisol was collected over the course of 10 h: upon awakening, before and after an unpleasant and a pleasant stimulus. Cortisol upon awakening was highest in the stunted and lowest in the underweight groups: control=5·05 (95% CI 3·71, 6·89) nmol/l, stunted=6·62 (95% CI 3·97, 11·02) nmol/l, underweight=2·51 (95% CI 1·75, 3·63) nmol/l and recovered=3·46 (95% CI 2·46, 4·90) nmol/l (P=0·005). Girls had higher cortisol concentrations upon awakening compared with boys (P=0·021). The undernourished groups showed an elevated cortisol response both to the unpleasant stimulus and at the last measurement (16.00 hours) compared with that of the recovered group: AUC, control=2·07 (95% CI 1·69, 2·45) nmol/l×30 min, stunted=2·48 (95% CI 1·91, 3·06) nmol/l×30 min, underweight=2·52 (95% CI 2·07, 2·97) nmol/l×30 min, recovered=1·68 (95% CI 1·26, 2·11) nmol/l×30 min (P=0·042); and control=2·03 (95% CI 1·75, 2·39) nmol/l×30 min, stunted=2·51 (95% CI 1·97, 3·19) nmol/l×30 min, underweight=2·61 (95% CI 2·16, 3·16) nmol/l×30 min, recovered=1·70 (95% CI 1·42, 2·03) nmol/l×30 min (P=0·009). Lower free thyroxine (T4) was found in the recovered and stunted groups: control=1·28 (95% CI 1·18, 1·39) pmol/l, stunted=0·98 (95% CI 0·87, 1·10) pmol/l, underweight=1·10 (95% CI 1·01, 1·21) pmol/l and recovered=0·90 (95% CI 0·83, 0·99) pmol/l (P<0·001). Multivariate analysis showed a lower cortisol concentration along 10 h (06.00-16.00 hours) in the recovered compared with the other groups (P=0

  6. Loss of the pregnancy-induced rise in cortisol concentrations in the ewe impairs the fetal insulin-like growth factor axis

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Ellen C.; Bennet, Laura; Wood, Charles; Vickers, Mark; Breier, Bernhard; Gunn, Alistair J.; Keller-Wood, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    Maternal cortisol levels increase during pregnancy. Although this change is important for optimal fetal growth, the mechanisms of the changes in growth remain unclear. We examined whether alterations in maternal plasma cortisol concentrations are associated with changes in the fetal insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis. Pregnant ewes in late gestation (115 ± 0.4 days) were studied: six control animals, five ewes given 1 mg/kg/day cortisol (high cortisol), and five adrenalectomized ewes given 0.5-0.6 mg cortisol/kg/day (low cortisol). Blood samples were taken throughout the experiment and at necropsy (130 ± 0.2 days) and fetal liver was frozen for mRNA analysis. Fetal IGF-I and insulin plasma concentrations were lower and IGFBP-1 concentrations were higher in the low cortisol group compared with those in controls (p<0.05). Fetal liver IGF-II and IGFBP-3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3) mRNA were decreased in low cortisol animals compared with those in controls (p<0.05). There were no significant changes in these parameters in the high cortisol group, and there were no changes in fetal liver IGF-I, growth hormone receptor, IGF-I receptor, IGF-II receptor, IGFBP-1 or IGFBP-2 mRNA levels between the groups. These data suggest that reduced fetal IGF availability contributes to reduced fetal growth when maternal cortisol secretion is impaired, but not during exposure to moderate increases in cortisol. PMID:21635815

  7. Salivary cortisol levels are elevated in the afternoon and at bedtime in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.

    PubMed

    Keiver, Kathy; Bertram, Chris P; Orr, Alison Pritchard; Clarren, Sterling

    2015-02-01

    Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which may underlie some of the behavioral and adaptive problems seen in individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Infants prenatally exposed to alcohol show altered basal and post-stress cortisol levels, but it is unknown if this persists beyond 2 years of age. It is also unknown if cortisol levels can be normalized through intervention programs. In this study, we investigated the effects of a physical activity program for children with FASD to determine: 1) if HPA dysregulation persists in school-age children with FASD, and 2) the effect of our program on cortisol levels. Twenty six children (ages 6-14 years) with FASD participated in an 8 week motor skill development program. Salivary cortisol levels were measured in 24 children and compared at 4 time points: before, immediately after, 3 months, and 1 year after program completion. Cortisol levels were also compared to 32 control children to evaluate the long-term effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on HPA regulation. For each time point, saliva was collected on each of 2 days at 3 times in the diurnal cycle: awakening, after school, and just before bedtime. Cortisol levels were significantly higher in the afternoon and at bedtime in children with FASD with confirmed prenatal exposure to high levels of alcohol (alcohol exposure rank 4), compared with Control children or children with FASD with exposure to low or unknown levels of alcohol (alcohol exposure rank 3). The program did not significantly affect cortisol levels in children with FASD as a group. These results provide support for long-term effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the HPA system in humans, which could increase vulnerability to mental health issues and diseases later in life.

  8. Salivary cortisol protocol adherence and reliability by socio-demographic features: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hill Golden, Sherita; Sánchez, Brisa N; Desantis, Amy S; Wu, Meihua; Castro, Cecilia; Seeman, Teresa E; Tadros, Sameh; Shrager, Sandi; Diez Roux, Ana V

    2014-05-01

    Collection of salivary cortisol has become increasingly popular in large population-based studies. However, the impact of protocol compliance on day-to-day reliabilities of measures, and the extent to which reliabilities differ systematically according to socio-demographic characteristics, has not been well characterized in large-scale population-based studies to date. Using data on 935 men and women from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, we investigated whether sampling protocol compliance differs systematically according to socio-demographic factors and whether compliance was associated with cortisol estimates, as well as whether associations of cortisol with both compliance and socio-demographic characteristics were robust to adjustments for one another. We further assessed the day-to-day reliability for cortisol features and the extent to which reliabilities vary according to socio-demographic factors and sampling protocol compliance. Overall, we found higher compliance among persons with higher levels of income and education. Lower compliance was significantly associated with a less pronounced cortisol awakening response (CAR) but was not associated with any other cortisol features, and adjustment for compliance did not affect associations of socio-demographic characteristics with cortisol. Reliability was higher for area under the curve (AUC) and wake up values than for other features, but generally did not vary according to socio-demographic characteristics, with few exceptions. Our findings regarding intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) support prior research indicating that multiple day collection is preferable to single day collection, particularly for CAR and slopes, more so than wakeup and AUC. There were few differences in reliability by socio-demographic characteristics. Thus, it is unlikely that group-specific sampling protocols are warranted.

  9. Cortisol levels in former preterm children at school age are predicted by neonatal procedural pain-related stress.

    PubMed

    Brummelte, Susanne; Chau, Cecil M Y; Cepeda, Ivan L; Degenhardt, Amanda; Weinberg, Joanne; Synnes, Anne R; Grunau, Ruth E

    2015-01-01

    Early life stress can alter hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function. Differences in cortisol levels have been found in preterm infants exposed to substantial procedural stress during neonatal intensive care, compared to infants born full-term, but only a few studies investigated whether altered programming of the HPA axis persists past toddler age. Further, there is a dearth of knowledge of what may contribute to these changes in cortisol. This prospective cohort study examined the cortisol profiles in response to the stress of cognitive assessment, as well as the diurnal rhythm of cortisol, in children (n=129) born at varying levels of prematurity (24-32 weeks gestation) and at full-term (38-41 weeks gestation), at age 7 years. Further, we investigated the relationships among cortisol levels and neonatal procedural pain-related stress (controlling for multiple medical confounders), concurrent maternal factors (parenting stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms) and children's behavioral problems. For each aim we investigate acute cortisol response profiles to a cognitive challenge as well as diurnal cortisol patterns at home. We hypothesized that children born very preterm will differ in their pattern of cortisol secretion from children born full-term, possibly depended on concurrent child and maternal factors, and that exposure to neonatal pain-related stress would be associated with altered cortisol secretion in children born very preterm, possibly in a sex-dependent way. Saliva samples were collected from 7-year old children three times during a laboratory visit for assessment of cognitive and executive functions (pretest, mid-test, end-study day acute stress profile) and at four times over two consecutive non-school days at home (i.e. morning, mid-morning, afternoon and bedtime-diurnal rhythm profile). We found that cortisol profiles were similar in preterm and full-term children, albeit preterms had slightly higher cortisol at bedtime compared to

  10. Perceived stress, recurrent pain, and aggregate salivary cortisol measures in mid-adolescent girls and boys.

    PubMed

    Lindfors, Petra; Folkesson Hellstadius, Lisa; Östberg, Viveca

    2017-02-01

    Measures of perceived stress have been criticized for theoretical inconsistency. However, the validated pressure activation stress scale has been suggested as a theoretically sound alternative. But it is unclear how pressure and activation stress relate to objective and subjective measures including commonly used aggregate cortisol measures and health complaints respectively. Specifically, this study aimed at investigating how pressure and activation stress were related to aggregate salivary cortisol measures and recurrent pain in mid-adolescent girls and boys. Mid-adolescents (119 girls and 56 boys) provided self-reports in questionnaires on activation and pressure stress and recurrent pain (headache, stomach ache, neck/shoulder and back pain). Additionally, adolescents sampled saliva during an ordinary school day: (1) immediately at awakening; (2) 30 minutes after waking up; (3) 60 minutes after waking up, and (4) at 8 p.m. These samples were analyzed for cortisol. Hierarchical regressions showed no statistically significant associations between activation and pressure stress and cortisol, neither for girls nor for boys. However, activation and pressure stress were significantly associated with recurrent pain but only for girls. The findings may relate to subjective and objective measures reflecting distinct aspects of stress-related functioning. However, the study participants included mid-adolescents whose bodily systems are flexible and still relatively unaffected by the strain of their daily stress perceptions. To conclude, the non-significant relationships between activation and pressure stress and commonly used aggregate measures of cortisol adds to the understanding of how perceived stress may relate to physiological functioning in the daily life of adolescents when using such aggregate measures.

  11. The partner's insecure attachment, depression and psychological well-being as predictors of diurnal cortisol patterns for breast cancer survivors and their spouses.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Fei-Hsiu; Jow, Guey-Mei; Kuo, Wen-Hung; Huang, Chiun-Sheng; Lai, Yu-Ming; Liu, Yu-Fen; Chang, King-Jen

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore whether stress from individual's and partner's depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, insecure attachment and meaning in life were predictors of diurnal cortisol patterns in breast cancer survivors and their spouses. Thirty-four couple dyads participated in this eight-month follow-up study. The breast cancer survivors and their spouses completed the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised scale and the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, and they collected salivary cortisol at home at the time of awakening, 30 and 45 min after waking and at 1200 h, 1700 h and 2100 h. Diurnal cortisol slopes of survivors and spouses are positively correlated. But the factors associated with diurnal cortisol patterns are different between survivors and spouses. For survivors, neither survivor individuals' nor spouses' psychosocial factors were the predictors of survivors' diurnal cortisol patterns. For spouses, the survivors' higher anxious attachment style was the main predictor of spouses' flatter diurnal cortisol patterns. In conclusion, for spouses, psychophysiological stress responses are mainly influenced by breast cancer survivors' insecure attachment. Future couple supportive care interventions can address survivors' attachment styles in close relationships in order to improve neuroendocrine functions for both breast cancer survivors and their spouses.

  12. Cortisol in the morning and dimensions of anxiety, depression, and aggression in children from a general population and clinic-referred cohort: An integrated analysis. The TRAILS study.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Andrea; Ormel, Johan; Buitelaar, Jan K; Verhulst, Frank C; Hoekstra, Pieter J; Hartman, Catharina A

    2013-08-01

    Anxiety and depressive problems have often been related to higher hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis activity (basal morning cortisol levels and cortisol awakening response [CAR]) and externalizing problems to lower HPA-axis activity. However, associations appear weaker and more inconsistent than initially assumed. Previous studies from the Tracking Adolescents Individual Lives Study (TRAILS) suggested sex-differences in these relationships and differential associations with specific dimensions of depressive problems in a general population sample of children (10-12 years). Using the TRAILS population sample (n=1604), we tested hypotheses on the association between single day cortisol (basal morning levels and CAR) and specifically constructed dimensions of anxiety (cognitive versus somatic), depressive (cognitive-affective versus somatic), and externalizing problems (reactive versus proactive aggression), and explored the modifying role of sex. Moreover, we repeated analyses in an independent same-aged clinic-referred sample (n=357). Structural Equation Modeling was used to investigate the association between cortisol and higher- and lower-order (thus, broad and specific) problem dimensions based on self-reports in an integrated model. Overall, findings were consistent across the population and clinic-referred samples, as well as with the existing literature. Most support was found for higher cortisol (mainly CAR) in relation to depressive problems. However, in general, associations were weak in both samples. Therefore, the present results shed doubt on the relevance of single day cortisol measurements for problem behaviors in the milder range. Associations may be stronger in more severe or persistent psychopathology.

  13. Coming of Age and Awakening to Spiritual Consciousness through Rites of Passage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blumenkrantz, David G.; Hong, Kathryn L.

    2008-01-01

    All children have an innate need to engage in experiences that precipitate a spiritual awakening. Parents and community institutions (school, youth and family agencies, civic and faith organizations, government, and others) need to take on roles and responsibilities that support this awakening. Rites of passage have been a human pathway to such…

  14. "Awakening to" an Aspect in the Other: On Developing Insights and Concepts in Qualitative Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witz, Klaus G.

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses "awakening to" deeper aspects in a person and "articulating" them and contrasts this way of developing concepts and new understandings in qualitative research with "fashioning concepts at a level of words and phrases in an arena of public discourse." "Awakening to and articulating" may be epistemologically based on C. H.…

  15. Patterns of Developmental Change in Infants' Nighttime Sleep Awakenings from 6 through 36 Months of Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinraub, Marsha; Bender, Randall H.; Friedman, Sarah L.; Susman, Elizabeth J.; Knoke, Bonnie; Bradley, Robert; Houts, Renate; Williams, Jason

    2012-01-01

    Nighttime sleep awakenings and infant and family characteristics were measured longitudinally in more than 1,200 infants when the infants were 6, 15, 24, and 36 months old. By 6 months of age, the majority of children slept through the night, awakening their mothers only about once or twice per week. However, not all children followed this…

  16. Primal Awareness: A True Story of Survival, Transformation, and Awakening with the Raramuri Shamans of Mexico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, Don Trent

    During a kayaking expedition in 1983, the author was sucked into an underwater tunnel in Mexico's Rio Urique. He miraculously emerged unharmed, but this near-death experience awakened in him a primal awareness that had been coddled to sleep by his so-called civilized perceptions. He gained intuitive insights from this awakening that enabled him to…

  17. Poverty-alleviation program participation and salivary cortisol in very low-income children.

    PubMed

    Fernald, Lia C H; Gunnar, Megan R

    2009-06-01

    Correlational studies have shown associations between social class and salivary cortisol suggestive of a causal link between childhood poverty and activity of the stress-sensitive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system. Using a quasi-experimental design, we evaluated the associations between a family's participation in a large-scale, conditional cash transfer program in Mexico (Oportunidades, formerly Progresa) during the child's early years of life and children's salivary cortisol (baseline and responsivity). We also examined whether maternal depressive symptoms moderated the effect of program participation. Low-income households (income <20th percentile nationally) from rural Mexico were enrolled in a large-scale poverty-alleviation program between 1998 and 1999. A comparison group of households from demographically similar communities was recruited in 2003. Following 3.5 years of participation in the Oportunidades program, three saliva samples were obtained from children aged 2-6 years from intervention and comparison households (n=1197). Maternal depressive symptoms were obtained using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Results were that children who had been in the Oportunidades program had lower salivary cortisol levels when compared with those who had not participated in the program, while controlling for a wide range of individual-, household- and community-level variables. Reactivity patterns of salivary cortisol did not differ between intervention and comparison children. Maternal depression moderated the association between Oportunidades program participation and baseline salivary cortisol in children. Specifically, there was a large and significant Oportunidades program effect of lowering cortisol in children of mothers with high depressive symptoms but not in children of mothers with low depressive symptomatology. These findings provide the strongest evidence to date that the economic circumstances of a family

  18. Foetal programming and cortisol secretion in early childhood: A meta-analysis of different programming variables.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Jessica; Tarabulsy, George M; Bussières, Eve-Line

    2015-08-01

    It is widely recognized that different events may take place in the intrauterine environment that may influence later developmental outcome. Scholars have long postulated that maternal prenatal stress, alcohol or drug use, and cigarette smoking may impact foetal formation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which may later influence different aspects of early childhood socioemotional and cognitive development. However, results linking each of these factors with child cortisol secretion have been mixed. The current meta-analysis examined the relation between each of these programming variables and child cortisol secretion in studies conducted up to December 31st, 2012. Studies were included if they were conducted prior to child age 60 months, and if they reported an index of effect size linking either maternal prenatal stress, alcohol or drug use, or cigarette smoking with an index of child cortisol secretion. In total, 19 studies (N=2260) revealed an average effect size of d=.36 (p<.001). Moderator analyses revealed that greater effect sizes could be traced to maternal alcohol use, to the use of retrospective research methodology, where mothers are questioned after childbirth regarding programming variables, and to the use of baseline measures of cortisol secretion, as opposed to recovery measures. Discussion focuses on processes that link the environment to foetal development and how both are linked to later adaptation.

  19. Cortisol Levels and Longitudinal Cortisol Change as Predictors of Anxiety in Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schiefelbein, Virginia L.; Susman, Elizabeth J.

    2006-01-01

    Although previous research has suggested cortisol-emotion relationships, little is known regarding the effect of anxiety type on cortisol levels or relationships between anxiety and longitudinal cortisol change in adolescents. The authors examine the differential relationship of cortisol levels with generalized and social anxiety and relationships…

  20. Does maternal prenatal stress adversely affect the child's learning and memory at age six?

    PubMed

    Gutteling, Barbara M; de Weerth, Carolina; Zandbelt, Noortje; Mulder, Eduard J H; Visser, Gerard H A; Buitelaar, Jan K

    2006-12-01

    Prenatal maternal stress has been shown to affect postnatal development in animals and humans. In animals, the morphology and function of the offspring's hippocampus is negatively affected by prenatal maternal stress. The present study prospectively investigated the influence of prenatal maternal stress on learning and memory of 112 children (50 boys, 62 girls, Age: M=6.7 years, SD=8.4 months), with the Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL). Maternal stress levels were determined three times during pregnancy by self-report questionnaires. Furthermore, maternal saliva cortisol samples were used as a measure of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning. Results of hierarchical multivariate regression analyses showed that maternal life events measured during the first part of pregnancy were negatively associated with the child's attention/concentration index, while controlling for overall IQ, gender, and postnatal stress. No associations were found between prenatal maternal cortisol and the offspring's learning and memory.

  1. [Maternity blues].

    PubMed

    Gonidakis, F

    2007-04-01

    Maternity blues is a transient change of mood that occurs mainly between the 1st and 10th day of puerpartum and is characterized by bursts of tears, mild depressive mood, anxiety and liability of mood. The frequency of maternity blues varies in different studies form 4% to 80%. A number of biological and psychosocial parameters have been studied in order to determine their correlation with maternity blues. The most well studied biological parameters are progesterone and cortizol although their relation with maternity blues has not yet been clearly defined. Stress and the emotional state of the woman during pregnancy as well as history of mood disorders or maternity blues in a previous birth are the psychosocial parameters that are more likely to correlate with the occurrence of maternity blues. Most of the authors suggest that information on maternity blues and reassurance of the woman are the best way to deal with maternity blues both on preventive and therapeutical basis.

  2. Cushing, cortisol, and cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Whitworth, J A; Mangos, G J; Kelly, J J

    2000-11-01

    Cushing's syndrome of glucocorticoid excess is named after the eminent Boston neurosurgeon Harvey W. Cushing (1869-1939). The recognition that glucocorticoid excess produces hypertension led to examination of the role of cortisol in essential hypertension, but it is only over the last decade that evidence has emerged to support the concept. Despite the widespread assumption that cortisol raises blood pressure as a consequence of renal sodium retention, there are few data consistent with the notion. Although it has a plethora of actions on brain, heart and blood vessels, kidney, and body fluid compartments, precisely how cortisol elevates blood pressure is unclear. Candidate mechanisms currently being examined include inhibition of the vasodilator nitric oxide system and increases in vasoconstrictor erythropoietin concentration.

  3. Associations between circadian and stress response cortisol in children.

    PubMed

    Simons, Sterre S H; Cillessen, Antonius H N; de Weerth, Carolina

    2017-01-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning is characterized by the baseline production of cortisol following a circadian rhythm, as well as by the superimposed production of cortisol in response to a stressor. However, it is relatively unknown whether the basal cortisol circadian rhythm is associated with the cortisol stress response in children. Since alterations in cortisol stress responses have been associated with mental and physical health, this study investigated whether the cortisol circadian rhythm is associated with cortisol stress responses in 6-year-old children. To this end, 149 normally developing children (Mage = 6.09 years; 70 girls) participated in an innovative social evaluative stress test that effectively provoked increases in cortisol. To determine the cortisol stress response, six cortisol saliva samples were collected and two cortisol stress response indices were calculated: total stress cortisol and cortisol stress reactivity. To determine children's cortisol circadian rhythm eight cortisol circadian samples were collected during two days. Total diurnal cortisol and diurnal cortisol decline scores were calculated as indices of the cortisol circadian rhythm. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that higher total diurnal cortisol as well as a smaller diurnal cortisol decline, were both uniquely associated with higher total stress cortisol. No associations were found between the cortisol circadian rhythm indices and cortisol stress reactivity. Possible explanations for the patterns found are links with children's self-regulatory capacities and parenting quality.

  4. The Neuroendocrinology of Primate Maternal Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Saltzman, Wendy; Maestripieri, Dario

    2010-01-01

    In nonhuman primates and humans, similar to other mammals, hormones are not strictly necessary for the expression of maternal behavior, but nevertheless influence variation in maternal responsiveness and parental behavior both within and between individuals. A growing number of correlational and experimental studies have indicated that high circulating estrogen concentrations during pregnancy increase maternal motivation and responsiveness to infant stimuli, while effects of prepartum or postpartum estrogens and progestogens on maternal behavior are less clear. Prolactin is thought to play a role in promoting paternal and alloparental care in primates, but little is known about the relationship between this hormone and maternal behavior. High circulating cortisol levels appear to enhance arousal and responsiveness to infant stimuli in young, relatively inexperienced female primates, but interfere with the expression of maternal behavior in older and more experienced mothers. Among neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, preliminary evidence indicates that oxytocin and endogenous opioids affect maternal attachment to infants, including maintenance of contact, grooming, and responses to separation. Brain serotonin affects anxiety and impulsivity, which in turn may affect maternal behaviors such as infant retrieval or rejection of infants’ attempts to make contact with the mother. Although our understanding of the neuroendocrine correlates of primate maternal behavior has grown substantially in the last two decades, very little is known about the mechanisms underlying these effects, e.g., the extent to which these mechanisms may involve changes in perception, emotion, or cognition. PMID:20888383

  5. Cortisol levels of infants in center care across the first year of life: links with quality of care and infant temperament.

    PubMed

    Albers, Esther M; Beijers, Roseriet; Riksen-Walraven, J Marianne; Sweep, Fred C G J; de Weerth, Carolina

    2016-01-01

    Cortisol concentrations of older children in childcare centers have been found to be higher than at home. This study focuses on infant cortisol in childcare centers throughout the first year of life, and aims to investigate whether inter-individual differences can be explained by temperament, the quality of maternal behavior, and the quality of center care. Sixty-four infants were followed for 9 months after entering care at 3 months of age. Salivary samples were taken at 10.00 h and 16.00 h in center care (in post-entry weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, and 36) and at home (in post-entry weeks 1, 24, and 36). Prior to entry, mothers completed a temperament questionnaire and the quality of maternal behavior (sensitivity and cooperation) was observed during routine bathing sessions. Subsequently, the infants were visited three times at center care to observe the quality of infant's interactive experiences with their professional caregiver. Longitudinal regression models showed that both morning and afternoon cortisol were higher in center care compared to home. Longitudinal regression models showed that infants receiving higher quality of maternal behavior displayed higher morning cortisol in center care, compared to infants receiving lower quality of maternal behavior. Higher quality of maternal behavior was also related to higher afternoon cortisol in center care, but only in infants high in negative emotionality. Center care quality was not related to cortisol. In sum, young infants show higher cortisol concentrations in center care that are related to infant temperament and quality of maternal behavior at home.

  6. Awakening concerns in India with degradation of the environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Leonard

    An invitation to visit India in January 1987 was accepted in order to present lectures and have discussions at the Indian Institute of Technology (New Delhi), Andhra University, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Indian Institute of Science and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Selections from eight lectures on environmental protection, acid rain and atmospheric chemistry were presented and served as a means to introduce environmental questions being addressed in the United States and to initiate discussions on scientific programs being formulated in India. Impressions of the country and interests of its scientists are described. In general, there is an awakening concern in India with the need to protect the environment, and there is a cadre of scientists that are well informed in world environmental issues through whom a number of major activities are just getting underway. Their resources are modest and they look forward to assistance from and cooperation and involvement with foreign scientists.

  7. The neurochemistry of awakening: findings from sleep disorder narcolepsy.

    PubMed

    Nishino, Seiji; Sagawa, Yohei

    2010-01-01

    Recent progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology of excessive sleepiness (EDS) is particularly indebted to the 1999 discovery of narcolepsy genes (i.e., hypocretin receptor and peptide genes) in animals and the subsequent discovery of hypocretin ligand deficiency in idiopathic cases of human narcolepsy-cataplexy. Hypocretin deficiency is also involved in many cases of symptomatic narcolepsy and EDS. Changes in other neurotransmitter systems (such as monoamines and acetylcholine) previously reported in these conditions are likely to be secondary to the impaired hypocretin neurotransmission; however, these may also mediate the sleep abnormalities seen in hypocretin deficient narcolepsy. The pathophysiology of hypocretin non-deficient narcolepsy is debated. Similarly, the pathophysiology of idiopathic hypersomnia, another defined primary hypersomnia, is largely unknown. This chapter discusses our current understanding of the neurochemistry of EDS, a disease of awakening.

  8. Diurnal salivary cortisol in relation to perceived stress at home and at work in healthy men and women.

    PubMed

    Sjörs, Anna; Ljung, Thomas; Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H

    2014-05-01

    This study investigated the association between diurnal salivary cortisol profile and perceived stress at work and at home. Healthy participants (N=180, 52% women) collected saliva cortisol samples immediately after waking up, 15 min later, 30 min later, and at 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00 and 21:00. The area under the cortisol awakening curve with respect to ground (AUCgCAR) and increase (AUCiCAR), and diurnal slope between 9:00 and 21:00 were analyzed. Perceived stress at work and at home was measured with the Stress-Energy Questionnaire. Participants reporting stress at home had significantly lower AUCgCAR and a flatter diurnal slope. When performing separate analyses for men and women, this association was only significant among women. Perceived stress at work was not associated with any cortisol measure. This study highlights the importance of stress outside the workplace. The sex differences may indicate an increased vulnerability to non-work stress in women.

  9. Physiological Correlates of Maternal Responsivity in Mothers of Preschoolers with Fragile X Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Ashley N.; Roberts, Jane E.; Brady, Nancy C.; McQuillin, Samuel D.; Warren, Steven F.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between salivary cortisol and maternal responsiveness in mothers of boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Maternal responsivity is strongly associated with child outcomes, and children with FXS are at risk for compromised development due to intellectual disability and problem behavior. Increased…

  10. Effects of cortisol on hippocampal subfields volumes and memory performance in healthy control subjects and patients with major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Travis, Scott G; Coupland, Nicholas J; Hegadoren, K; Silverstone, Peter H; Huang, Yushan; Carter, Rawle; Fujiwara, Esther; Seres, Peter; Malykhin, Nikolai V

    2016-09-01

    Overactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most consistently replicated biological findings in psychiatry. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have consistently demonstrated that hippocampal (HC) volume is decreased in patients with MDD. The improved spatial resolution of high field strength MRI has recently enabled measurements of HC subfield volumes in vivo. The main goal of the present study was to examine the relationship between cortisol concentrations over a day and HC subfield volumes in patients with MDD compared to healthy controls and to investigate whether diurnal cortisol measures are related to memory performance. Fourteen MDD patients with moderate or severe episodes were recruited, together with 14 healthy controls. Imaging was performed using a 4.7T whole-body imaging system. HC subfields and subregions were segmented manually using previously defined protocol. Memory performance was assessed using the Wechsler Memory Scale IV. The salivary cortisol levels were measured over the course of one day. We found that cortisol awakening response to 8h (CAR-8h) was higher in MDD patients compared to controls and that this increase in CAR-8h in MDD patients correlated negatively with left total Cornu Ammonis (CA)1-3 and left HC head volume. In healthy controls mean cortisol levels were negatively associated with right total CA1-3, right HC head, and right total HC volume. In addition, in healthy controls higher CAR-8h was related to worse performance on the immediate content memory. These results provide the first in vivo evidence of the negative associations between cortisol level, CA1-3 HC subfield volume and memory performance in patients with MDD and healthy controls.

  11. Maternal Distress and Child Neuroendocrine and Immune Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Riis, Jenna L.; Granger, Douglas A.; Minkovitz, Cynthia S.; Bandeen-Roche, Karen; DiPietro, Janet A.; Johnson, Sara B.

    2016-01-01

    Rationale Neuroendocrine-immune regulation is essential for maintaining health. Early-life adversity may cause dysregulation in the neuroendocrine-immune network through repeated activation of the stress response, thereby increasing disease risk. Objective This paper examined the extent to which maternal psychological well-being moderates neuroendocrine-immune relations in children. Methods We used data from a laboratory-based study of mothers and their five-year old children (n=125 mother-child pairs) conducted from 2011–2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Child saliva was assayed for markers of immune function (i.e., cytokines: interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity (i.e., cortisol). A composite score for depressive symptoms, anxiety, and parenting stress characterized maternal psychological distress. Multilevel mixed models examined the relationship between maternal psychological well-being and child neuroendocrine-immune relations. Results Significant cytokine × maternal distress interactions indicated that as maternal distress increased, expected inverse cytokine-cortisol relations within children became weaker for IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. Sex-stratified models revealed that these interactions were only significant among girls. Among boys, there were inverse cytokine-cortisol relations for all cytokines, and, while in the same direction as observed among girls, the cytokine × maternal distress interactions were non-significant. Conclusion The findings suggest that maternal distress is associated with child neuroendocrine-immune relations in saliva and may alter the sensitivity of inflammatory immune processes to cortisol's inhibitory effects. This desensitization may place the child at risk for inflammatory diseases. The findings support efforts for the early detection and treatment of at-risk mothers to protect maternal and child health and well-being. PMID:26808339

  12. Tracing Differential Pathways of Risk: Associations Among Family Adversity, Cortisol, and Cognitive Functioning in Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Suor, Jennifer H.; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.; Davies, Patrick T.; Cicchetti, Dante; Manning, Liviah G.

    2015-01-01

    Guided by family risk and allostasis theoretical frameworks, the present study utilized a prospective longitudinal design to examine associations among family risk experiences, basal cortisol patterns, and cognitive functioning in children. The sample included 201 low-income children living within a mid-size city in the Northeastern United States. Children were assessed at ages 2, 3, and 4 years. Growth-mixture modeling (GMM) analyses revealed three basal cortisol patterns (elevated, moderate, low) and these remained relatively stable across time. Exposure to greater levels of family instability and maternal emotional unavailability predicted elevated and low cortisol patterns, which were associated with lower child cognitive functioning at age 4. Findings have implications for family risk processes that may underlie risk-related disparities in child cognitive outcomes. PMID:26081792

  13. Hair cortisol levels, perceived stress and body mass index in women and children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods: the READI study.

    PubMed

    Olstad, Dana Lee; Ball, Kylie; Wright, Craig; Abbott, Gavin; Brown, Erin; Turner, Anne Isabella

    2016-01-01

    Disadvantaged communities provide adverse psychosocial exposures that have been linked to high levels of stress, and this may provide one explanatory pathway linking socioeconomic disadvantage to obesity. This study used hair cortisol analysis to quantify associations between stress and body mass index (BMI), and between hair cortisol and perceived psychological stress levels, in women and children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Participants were a volunteer sample of 70 women from the Resilience for Eating and Activity Despite Inequality study, including 30 maternal-child pairs. Women self-reported body weight, height and perceived psychological stress using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and provided hair samples for themselves and their child. Children's body weight and height were measured. Following extraction, hair cortisol levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Multiple linear regression models examined associations between stress and BMI, and between hair cortisol and perceived stress levels in women and children. Women's hair cortisol levels were not associated with their BMI or PSS scores. Women's PSS scores were positively associated with their BMI (p = 0.015). Within maternal-child pairs, mothers and children's hair cortisol levels were strongly positively associated (p = 0.006). Maternal hair cortisol levels and PSS scores were unrelated to their child's zBMI. Children's hair cortisol levels were not associated with their zBMI or with their mother's PSS score. Findings suggest that cortisol-based and perceived psychological measures of stress may be distinct among women and children living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Perceived psychological measures may be more important predictors of weight-related risk.

  14. Diurnal Cortisol Patterns and Dexamethasone Suppression Test Responses in Healthy Young Adults Born Preterm at Very Low Birth Weight

    PubMed Central

    Pyhälä, Riikka; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Räikkönen, Katri; Järvenpää, Anna-Liisa; Andersson, Sture; Eriksson, Johan G.; Hovi, Petteri; Kajantie, Eero

    2016-01-01

    Background Early life stress, such as painful and stressful procedures during neonatal intensive care after preterm birth, can permanently affect physiological, hormonal and neurobiological systems. This may contribute to altered programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) and provoke changes in HPAA function with long-term health impacts. Previous studies suggest a lower HPAA response to stress in young adults born preterm compared with controls born at term. We assessed whether these differences in HPAA stress responsiveness are reflected in everyday life HPAA functioning, i.e. in diurnal salivary cortisol patterns, and reactivity to a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (DST), in unimpaired young adults born preterm at very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g). Methods The participants were recruited from the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults cohort study. At mean age 23.3 years (2.1 SD), 49 VLBW and 36 controls born at term participated in the study. For cortisol analyzes, saliva samples were collected on two consecutive days at 0, 15, 30 and 60 min after wake-up, at 12:00 h, 17:00 h and 22:00 h. After the last salivary sample of the first study day the participants were instructed to take a 0.5 mg dexamethasone tablet. Results With mixed-effects model no difference was seen in overall diurnal salivary cortisol between VLBW and control groups [13.9% (95% CI: -11.6, 47.0), P = 0.31]. Salivary cortisol increased similarly after awakening in both VLBW and control participants [mean difference -2.9% (29.2, 33.0), P = 0.85]. Also reactivity to the low-dose DST (awakening cortisol ratio day2/day1) was similar between VLBW and control groups [-1.1% (-53.5, 103.8), P = 0.97)]. Conclusions Diurnal cortisol patterns and reactivity to a low-dose DST in young adulthood were not associated with preterm birth. PMID:27618620

  15. Effects of a poverty-alleviation intervention on salivary cortisol in very low-income children

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Lia; Gunnar, Megan R

    2009-01-01

    Correlational studies have shown associations between social class and salivary cortisol suggestive of a causal link between childhood poverty and activity of the stress-sensitive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system. Using a quasi-experimental design, we evaluated the association between a family’s participation in a large-scale, conditional cash transfer program in Mexico (Oportunidades, formerly Progresa) during the child’s early years of life and children’s salivary cortisol (baseline and responsivity). We also examined whether maternal depressive symptoms moderated the impact of program participation. Low-income households (income <20th percentile nationally) from rural Mexico were enrolled in a large-scale poverty-alleviation program between 1998 and 1999. A comparison group of households from demographically similar communities was recruited in 2003. Following 3.5 years of the Oportunidades program, three saliva samples were obtained from children age 2-6 years old from intervention and comparison households (n=1197). Maternal depressive symptoms were obtained using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Children who had been in the Oportunidades program had lower salivary cortisol levels when compared with those who had not participated in the program, while controlling for a wide range of individual-, household- and community-level variables. Reactivity patterns did not differ between intervention and comparison children. Maternal depression moderated the association between Oportunidades program participation and baseline salivary cortisol in children. Specifically, there was a large and significant Oportunidades program effect of lowering cortisol in children of mothers with high depressive symptoms but not in children of mothers with low depressive symptomatology. These findings provide the strongest evidence to date that the economic circumstances of the family impact the child’s developing stress system

  16. Cumulative Stress and Cortisol Disruption among Black and Hispanic Pregnant Women in an Urban Cohort.

    PubMed

    Suglia, Shakira Franco; Staudenmayer, John; Cohen, Sheldon; Enlow, Michelle Bosquet; Rich-Edwards, Janet W; Wright, Rosalind J

    2010-12-01

    While adult hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis functioning is thought to be altered by traumatic experiences, little data exist on the effects of cumulative stress on HPA functioning among pregnant women or among specific racial and ethnic groups. Individuals may be increasingly vulnerable to physiological alterations when experiencing cumulative effects of multiple stressors. These effects may be particularly relevant in urban poor communities where exposure to multiple stressors is more prevalent. The goal of this study was to explore the effects of multiple social stressors on HPA axis functioning in a sample of urban Black (n = 68) and Hispanic (n = 132) pregnant women enrolled in the Asthma Coalition on Community, Environment, and Social Stress (ACCESS). Pregnant women were administered the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (R-CTS) survey to assess interpersonal violence, the Experiences of Discrimination (EOD) survey, the Crisis in Family Systems-Revised (CRISYS-R) negative life events survey, and the My Exposure to Violence (ETV) survey, which ascertains exposure to community violence. A cumulative stress measure was derived from these instruments. Salivary cortisol samples were collected five times per day over three days to assess area under the curve (AUC), morning change, and basal awakening response in order to characterize diurnal salivary cortisol patterns. Repeated measures mixed models, stratified by race/ethnicity, were performed adjusting for education level, age, smoking status, body mass index and weeks pregnant at time of cortisol sampling. The majority of Hispanic participants (57%) had low cumulative stress exposure, while the majority of Black participants had intermediate (35%) or high (41%) cumulative stress exposure. Results showed that among Black but not Hispanic women, cumulative stress was associated with lower morning cortisol levels, including a flatter waking to bedtime rhythm. These analyses suggest that the combined

  17. Cumulative Stress and Cortisol Disruption among Black and Hispanic Pregnant Women in an Urban Cohort

    PubMed Central

    Suglia, Shakira Franco; Staudenmayer, John; Cohen, Sheldon; Enlow, Michelle Bosquet; Rich-Edwards, Janet W.; Wright, Rosalind J.

    2010-01-01

    While adult hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis functioning is thought to be altered by traumatic experiences, little data exist on the effects of cumulative stress on HPA functioning among pregnant women or among specific racial and ethnic groups. Individuals may be increasingly vulnerable to physiological alterations when experiencing cumulative effects of multiple stressors. These effects may be particularly relevant in urban poor communities where exposure to multiple stressors is more prevalent. The goal of this study was to explore the effects of multiple social stressors on HPA axis functioning in a sample of urban Black (n = 68) and Hispanic (n = 132) pregnant women enrolled in the Asthma Coalition on Community, Environment, and Social Stress (ACCESS). Pregnant women were administered the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (R-CTS) survey to assess interpersonal violence, the Experiences of Discrimination (EOD) survey, the Crisis in Family Systems-Revised (CRISYS-R) negative life events survey, and the My Exposure to Violence (ETV) survey, which ascertains exposure to community violence. A cumulative stress measure was derived from these instruments. Salivary cortisol samples were collected five times per day over three days to assess area under the curve (AUC), morning change, and basal awakening response in order to characterize diurnal salivary cortisol patterns. Repeated measures mixed models, stratified by race/ethnicity, were performed adjusting for education level, age, smoking status, body mass index and weeks pregnant at time of cortisol sampling. The majority of Hispanic participants (57%) had low cumulative stress exposure, while the majority of Black participants had intermediate (35%) or high (41%) cumulative stress exposure. Results showed that among Black but not Hispanic women, cumulative stress was associated with lower morning cortisol levels, including a flatter waking to bedtime rhythm. These analyses suggest that the combined

  18. The Effects of Multivitamin Supplementation on Diurnal Cortisol Secretion and Perceived Stress

    PubMed Central

    Camfield, David A.; Wetherell, Mark A.; Scholey, Andrew B.; Cox, Katherine H. M.; Fogg, Erin; White, David J.; Sarris, Jerome; Kras, Marni; Stough, Con; Sali, Avni; Pipingas, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that dietary intake of vitamins, in particular the B-vitamins including B6, B9 and B12 may have a number of positive effects on mood and stress. Given the effects of stress on a range of biological mechanisms including the endocrine system, it could be reasonably expected that multivitamin supplementation may also affect markers of these mechanisms such as diurnal cortisol secretion. In the current double-blind placebo-controlled study 138 adults (aged 20 to 50 years) were administered a multivitamin containing B-vitamins versus placebo over a 16-week period. Salivary cortisol measurements were taken at waking, 15-min, 30-min and at bedtime, at baseline, 8-weeks and 16-weeks. Perceived Stress (PSS) was measured at baseline, 8-weeks and 16-weeks, while blood serum measures of B6, B12 and homocysteine (HCy) as well as red cell folate (B9) were also collected at these time points. A significant interaction was found between treatment group and study visit for the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). Compared to placebo, at 16-weeks multivitamin supplementation was found to be associated with a near-significant trend towards an increased CAR. No significant differences in PSS were found between groups, with PSS increasing in both groups across the course of the study. Red cell folate was found to be significantly correlated with the CAR response at 16-weeks while HCy levels were not found to be associated with the CAR response, although HCy significantly correlated with waking cortisol levels at 8-weeks. A possible interpretation of the elevation in CAR associated with multivitamin supplementation is that this represents an adaptive response to everyday demands in healthy participants. PMID:24284609

  19. Interaction between perceived maternal care, anxiety symptoms, and the neurobehavioral response to palatable foods in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Machado, Tania Diniz; Dalle Molle, Roberta; Reis, Roberta Sena; Rodrigues, Danitsa Marcos; Mucellini, Amanda Brondani; Minuzzi, Luciano; Franco, Alexandre Rosa; Buchweitz, Augusto; Toazza, Rudineia; Ergang, Bárbara Cristina; Cunha, Ana Carla de Araújo; Salum, Giovanni Abrahão; Manfro, Gisele Gus; Silveira, Patrícia Pelufo

    2016-05-01

    Studies in rodents have shown that early life trauma leads to anxiety, increased stress responses to threatening situations, and modifies food intake in a new environment. However, these associations are still to be tested in humans. This study aimed to verify complex interactions among anxiety diagnosis, maternal care, and baseline cortisol on food intake in a new environment in humans. A community sample of 32 adolescents and young adults was evaluated for: psychiatric diagnosis using standardized interviews, maternal care using the Parental Bonding Inventory (PBI), caloric consumption in a new environment (meal choice at a snack bar), and salivary cortisol. They also performed a brain fMRI task including the visualization of palatable foods vs. neutral items. The study found a three-way interaction between anxiety diagnosis, maternal care, and baseline cortisol levels on the total calories consumed (snacks) in a new environment. This interaction means that for those with high maternal care, there were no significant associations between cortisol levels and food intake in a new environment. However, for those with low maternal care and who have an anxiety disorder (affected), cortisol was associated with higher food intake; whereas for those with low maternal care and who did not have an anxiety disorder (resilient), cortisol was negatively associated with lower food intake. In addition, higher anxiety symptoms were associated with decreased activation in the superior and middle frontal gyrus when visualizing palatable vs. neutral items in those reporting high maternal care. These results in humans mimic experimental research findings and demonstrate that a combination of anxiety diagnosis and maternal care moderate the relationship between the HPA axis functioning, anxiety, and feeding behavior in adolescents and young adults.

  20. [Maternal phenylketonuria].

    PubMed

    Bókay, János; Kiss, Erika; Simon, Erika; Szőnyi, László

    2013-05-05

    Elevated maternal phenylalanine levels during pregnancy are teratogenic, and may result in embryo-foetopathy, which could lead to stillbirth, significant psychomotor handicaps and birth defects. This foetal damage is known as maternal phenylketonuria. Women of childbearing age with all forms of phenylketonuria, including mild variants such as hyperphenylalaninaemia, should receive detailed counselling regarding their risks for adverse foetal effects, optimally before contemplating pregnancy. The most assured way to prevent maternal phenylketonuria is to maintain the maternal phenylalanine levels within the optimal range already before conception and throughout the whole pregnancy. Authors review the comprehensive programme for prevention of maternal phenylketonuria at the Metabolic Center of Budapest, they survey the practical approach of the continuous maternal metabolic control and delineate the outcome of pregnancies of mothers with phenylketonuria from the introduction of newborn screening until most recently.

  1. Ethnic discrimination predicts poor self-rated health and cortisol in pregnancy: insights from New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Thayer, Zaneta M; Kuzawa, Christopher W

    2015-03-01

    Despite growing research emphasis on understanding the health effects of ethnic discrimination, little work has focused on how such exposures may influence a woman's biology and health during pregnancy. Understanding such effects is important given evidence that maternal stress experience in pregnancy can have long term effects on offspring health. Here we present data evaluating the relationship between perceived discrimination, self-rated health, and the stress hormone cortisol measured in late pregnancy among a diverse sample of women living in Auckland, New Zealand (N = 55). We also evaluated possible intergenerational impacts of maternal discrimination on stress reactivity in a subset of offspring (N = 19). Pregnant women were recruited from two antenatal care clinics in Auckland. Women were met in their homes between 34 and 36 weeks gestation, during which time a prenatal stress questionnaire was administered and saliva samples (morning and evening from two days) were obtained. Offspring cortisol reactivity was assessed at the standard six week postnatal vaccination visit. We found that 34% of women reported having experienced ethnic discrimination, with minority and immigrant women being more likely to report being angry or upset in response to discrimination experience compared with NZ-born women of European descent. Women reporting discrimination experience had worse self-rated health, higher evening cortisol and gave birth to infants with higher cortisol reactivity, all independent of ethnicity and material deprivation. These findings suggest that discrimination experience can have biological impacts in pregnancy and across generations, potentially contributing to the ethnic gradient in health.

  2. Dream recall after night awakenings from tonic/phasic REM sleep.

    PubMed

    Hodoba, Danilo; Hrabrić, Kremimir; Krmpotić, Pavao; Brecić, Petra; Kujundzić-Tiljak, Mirjana; Majdaneić, Zeljko

    2008-01-01

    Eleven healthy subjects, 9 females and 2 males aged 21-23, were submitted to all night polygraphic recording and awaken in REM (Rapid Eye Movements) sleep, randomly upon tonic or phasic REM. Immediately upon awakening subjects were asked about possible dreaming according to the standardized questionnaire. Seventy-seven dreams, i.e. 79% of all 97 REM awakenings, were reported and analyzed. There were no significant differences in reported frequency of dreamings after awakening, mood and dream content due to phasic/tonic REM sleep. Dreams from phasic REM were a bit more colorful. Predictor of morning remembering of dreams was meaninglessness, not meaningfulness of dreams, and, in lesser extent, good mood, colorfulness, dreams with words and phasic REM sleep.

  3. Understanding the relation of low income to HPA-axis functioning in preschool children: cumulative family risk and parenting as pathways to disruptions in cortisol.

    PubMed

    Zalewski, Maureen; Lengua, Liliana J; Kiff, Cara J; Fisher, Philip A

    2012-12-01

    This study examined the relation of low income and poverty to cortisol levels, and tested potential pathways from low income to disruptions in cortisol through cumulative family risk and parenting. The sample of 306 mothers and their preschool children included 29 % families at or near poverty, 27 % families below the median income, and the remaining families at middle and upper income. Lower income was related to lower morning cortisol levels, and cumulative risk predicted a flatter diurnal slope, with a significant indirect effect through maternal negativity, suggesting that parenting practices might mediate an allostatic effect on stress physiology.

  4. Offspring Hormones Reflect the Maternal Prenatal Social Environment: Potential for Foetal Programming?

    PubMed Central

    Meise, Kristine; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Forcada, Jaume; Hoffman, Joseph Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Females of many species adaptively program their offspring to predictable environmental conditions, a process that is often mediated by hormones. Laboratory studies have shown, for instance, that social density affects levels of maternal cortisol and testosterone, leading to fitness-relevant changes in offspring physiology and behaviour. However, the effects of social density remain poorly understood in natural populations due to the difficulty of disentangling confounding influences such as climatic variation and food availability. Colonially breeding marine mammals offer a unique opportunity to study maternal effects in response to variable colony densities under similar ecological conditions. We therefore quantified maternal and offspring hormone levels in 84 Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) from two closely neighbouring colonies of contrasting density. Hair samples were used as they integrate hormone levels over several weeks or months and therefore represent in utero conditions during foetal development. We found significantly higher levels of cortisol and testosterone (both P < 0.001) in mothers from the high density colony, reflecting a more stressful and competitive environment. In addition, offspring testosterone showed a significant positive correlation with maternal cortisol (P < 0.05). Although further work is needed to elucidate the potential consequences for offspring fitness, these findings raise the intriguing possibility that adaptive foetal programming might occur in fur seals in response to the maternal social environment. They also lend support to the idea that hormonally mediated maternal effects may depend more strongly on the maternal regulation of androgen rather than cortisol levels. PMID:26761814

  5. Determination of cortisol in lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) eggs by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Bussy, Ugo; Wassink, Lydia; Scribner, Kim T; Li, Weiming

    2017-01-01

    Quantifying cortisol concentrations in fish eggs is important to understand the effects of environmental conditions on maternal physiological condition and on egg provisioning and quality. Data are particularly relevant to studies of the ecology of threatened species such as lake sturgeon (Aciperser fulvescens) as well as assessments of larval physical and behavioral phenotypes, fish health and caviar quality in sturgeon aquaculture. This study focuses on development of bioanalytical methods for high sensitivity and robust determination of cortisol in sturgeon eggs. Sample preparation was optimized after investigating protein precipitation and liquid-liquid extraction techniques. Ethyl acetate was found to be the most efficient solvent (recovery parameter) and also provided the best sample clean up (matrix effect parameter). The method was determined to be linear for cortisol concentrations between 0.025 and 100ng/mL. The limits of detection and quantification were 0.025 and 0.1ng/mL respectively. Intra- and inter-day performances of the method were validated at three concentrations (0.25; 10 and 100ng/mL). The method was applied to field-collected samples for the determination of endogenous cortisol in lake sturgeon eggs. Cortisol was detected in all egg samples and statistical analysis showed significant differences between fertilized and non-fertilized eggs.

  6. Prenatal Stress, Partner Support, and Infant Cortisol Reactivity in Low-Income Mexican American Families

    PubMed Central

    Luecken, Linda J.; Lin, Betty; Coburn, Shayna S.; MacKinnon, David P.; Gonzales, Nancy A.; Crnic, Keith A.

    2013-01-01

    Maternal exposure to significant prenatal stress can negatively affect infant neurobiological development and increase the risk for developmental and health disturbances. These effects may be pronounced in low SES and ethnic minority families. We explored prenatal partner support as a buffer of the impact of prenatal stress on cortisol reactivity of infants born to low-income Mexican American women. Women (N=220; age 18–42; 84% Spanish-speaking; 89% foreign born; modal family income $10,000–$15,000) reported on economic stress and satisfaction with spousal/partner support during the prenatal period (26–38 weeks gestation), and infant salivary cortisol reactivity to mildly challenging mother-infant interaction tasks was assessed at women’s homes at six weeks postpartum. Multilevel models estimated the interactive effect of prenatal stress and partner support on cortisol reactivity, controlling for covariates and potential confounds. Infants born to mothers who reported high prenatal stress and low partner support exhibited higher cortisol reactivity relative to those whose mothers reported high support or low stress. The effects did not appear to operate through birth outcomes. For low-income Mexican American women, partner support may buffer the impact of prenatal stress on infant cortisol reactivity, potentially promoting more adaptive infant health and development. PMID:24090585

  7. Prenatal stress, partner support, and infant cortisol reactivity in low-income Mexican American families.

    PubMed

    Luecken, Linda J; Lin, Betty; Coburn, Shayna S; MacKinnon, David P; Gonzales, Nancy A; Crnic, Keith A

    2013-12-01

    Maternal exposure to significant prenatal stress can negatively affect infant neurobiological development and increase the risk for developmental and health disturbances. These effects may be pronounced in low SES and ethnic minority families. We explored prenatal partner support as a buffer of the impact of prenatal stress on cortisol reactivity of infants born to low-income Mexican American women. Women (N=220; age 18-42; 84% Spanish-speaking; 89% foreign born; modal family income $10,000-$15,000) reported on economic stress and satisfaction with spousal/partner support during the prenatal period (26-38 weeks gestation), and infant salivary cortisol reactivity to mildly challenging mother-infant interaction tasks was assessed at women's homes at six weeks postpartum. Multilevel models estimated the interactive effect of prenatal stress and partner support on cortisol reactivity, controlling for covariates and potential confounds. Infants born to mothers who reported high prenatal stress and low partner support exhibited higher cortisol reactivity relative to those whose mothers reported high support or low stress. The effects did not appear to operate through birth outcomes. For low-income Mexican American women, partner support may buffer the impact of prenatal stress on infant cortisol reactivity, potentially promoting more adaptive infant health and development.

  8. Spontaneous awakening from nocturnal sleep and cardiac autonomic function in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Sampei, Mari; Dakeishi, Miwako; Wood, Donald C; Iwata, Toyoto; Murata, Katsuyuki

    2007-05-30

    A cross-sectional study was carried out to clarify the physiological features of spontaneous awakening from nocturnal sleep (i.e., whether a child can spontaneously wake up on weekday mornings). The study population comprised 116 children at ages 5 and 6 years. Heart rate variability reflecting cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic activities was measured. Children's typical bedtimes and wake times for weekdays and the presence/absence of spontaneous awakening from nocturnal sleep were reported by parents, and information about obligatory naptimes was provided by preschool teachers. The mean total sleep duration in the children was 625+/-56 (standard deviation) min. Total and nocturnal sleep durations were significantly shorter in 52 children without spontaneous awakening than in 64 children with it. Similarly, the parasympathetic activity was significantly lower in the children without spontaneous awakening, even in using analysis of covariance. Heart rate was significantly increased in the children without spontaneous awakening, but neither total nor nocturnal sleep durations were significant covariates in the analysis of covariance. In conclusion, the absence of spontaneous awakening from nocturnal sleep in preschool children is suggested to be characterized by short sleep duration, parasympathetic hypoactivity, and elevated heart rate.

  9. Effects of Prenatal Factors and Temperament on Infant Cortisol Regulation in Low-Income Mexican American Families

    PubMed Central

    Luecken, Linda J.; MacKinnon, David P.; Jewell, Shannon L.; Crnic, Keith A.; Gonzales, Nancy A.

    2016-01-01

    Prenatal psychosocial exposures can significantly affect infant health and development. Infants with higher temperamental negativity are theorized to be more susceptible to environmental exposures. We evaluated the interaction of prenatal maternal exposures and infant temperamental negativity to predict infant cortisol response to mildly challenging mother-infant interaction tasks. Participants included 322 Mexican American mother-infant dyads (mother age 18–42; 82% Spanish-speaking; modal family income $10,000–$15,000). Mothers reported depressive symptoms and social support prenatally and infant temperamental negativity at 6 weeks postpartum. Salivary cortisol was collected from infants before and after mother-infant interaction tasks at 12 weeks. Higher prenatal maternal depressive symptoms and lower social support predicted higher cortisol among infants with higher temperamental negativity. Higher infant temperamental negativity predicted an increase in maternal distress and a decrease in social support from prenatal to 12 weeks postpartum. Interactive influences of maternal social-contextual factors and infant temperament may influence the development of infant neurobiological regulation and promote or strain maternal and infant adaptation over time. PMID:26119970

  10. Effects of prenatal factors and temperament on infant cortisol regulation in low-income Mexican American families.

    PubMed

    Luecken, Linda J; MacKinnon, David P; Jewell, Shannon L; Crnic, Keith A; Gonzales, Nancy A

    2015-12-01

    Prenatal psychosocial exposures can significantly affect infant health and development. Infants with higher temperamental negativity are theorized to be more susceptible to environmental exposures. We evaluated the interaction of prenatal maternal exposures and infant temperamental negativity to predict infant cortisol response to mildly challenging mother-infant interaction tasks. Participants included 322 Mexican American mother-infant dyads (mother age 18-42; 82% Spanish-speaking; modal family income $10,000-$15,000). Mothers reported depressive symptoms and social support prenatally and infant temperamental negativity at 6 weeks postpartum. Salivary cortisol was collected from infants before and after mother-infant interaction tasks at 12 weeks. Higher prenatal maternal depressive symptoms and lower social support predicted higher cortisol among infants with higher temperamental negativity. Higher infant temperamental negativity predicted an increase in maternal distress and a decrease in social support from prenatal to 12 weeks postpartum. Interactive influences of maternal social-contextual factors and infant temperament may influence the development of infant neurobiological regulation and promote or strain maternal and infant adaptation over time.

  11. Clinical applications of cortisol measurements in hair.

    PubMed

    Wester, Vincent L; van Rossum, Elisabeth F C

    2015-10-01

    Cortisol measurements in blood, saliva and urine are frequently used to examine the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in clinical practice and in research. However, cortisol levels are subject to variations due to acute stress, the diurnal rhythm and pulsatile secretion. Cortisol measurements in body fluids are not always a reflection of long-term cortisol exposure. The analysis of cortisol in scalp hair is a relatively novel method to measure cumulative cortisol exposure over months up to years. Over the past years, hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) have been examined in association with a large number of somatic and mental health conditions. HCC can be used to evaluate disturbances of the HPA axis, including Cushing's syndrome, and to evaluate hydrocortisone treatment. Using HCC, retrospective timelines of cortisol exposure can be created which can be of value in diagnosing cyclic hypercortisolism. HCC have also been shown to increase with psychological stressors, including major life events, as well as physical stressors, such as endurance exercise and shift work. Initial studies show that HCC may be increased in depression, but decreased in general anxiety disorder. In posttraumatic stress disorder, changes in HCC seem to be dependent on the type of traumatic experience and the time since traumatization. Increased hair cortisol is consistently linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Potentially, HCC could form a future marker for cardiovascular risk stratification, as well as serve as a treatment target.

  12. Positive upshots of cortisol in everyday life.

    PubMed

    Hoyt, Lindsay T; Zeiders, Katharine H; Ehrlich, Katherine B; Adam, Emma K

    2016-06-01

    Cortisol, the major physiological end product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, is usually associated with stress and negative affect. However, a new body of research highlights the complex, adaptive significance of elevated cortisol within individuals in everyday life. Whereas most studies do not have the power to test the dynamic transactions between cortisol and affect within a person throughout the entire waking day, we employed an intensive study protocol analyzing hourly diary reports of affect in relation to hourly salivary cortisol samples among 24 healthy adults from morning to bedtime, across 2 consecutive weekdays (N = 862 total samples). Utilizing multileveling modeling and focusing on within-person effects, we examined whether momentary increases in cortisol could be mood protective, or energy enhancing, in everyday life, supporting the cortisol boost hypothesis. Results revealed no significant associations between cortisol and current affective state; however, within-person increases in cortisol were significantly associated with subsequent rises in activeness, alertness, and relaxation, and trend-level reductions in stress and nervousness. This study adds to growing evidence that cortisol plays a positive role in regulating affect in everyday life. (PsycINFO Database Record

  13. Lifetime Exposure to Traumatic and Other Stressful Life Events and Hair Cortisol in a Multi-Racial/Ethnic Sample of Pregnant Women

    PubMed Central

    Schreier, Hannah M. C.; Enlow, Michelle Bosquet; Ritz, Thomas; Coull, Brent A.; Gennings, Chris; Wright, Robert O.; Wright, Rosalind J.

    2016-01-01

    We examined whether lifetime exposure to stressful and traumatic events alters hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning, as indexed by hair cortisol, regardless of associated psychopathology, among pregnant women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. 180 women provided hair samples for measurement of integrated cortisol levels throughout pregnancy and information regarding their lifetime exposure to stressful and traumatic life events. Results indicate that increased lifetime exposure to traumatic events was associated with significantly greater hair cortisol over the course of pregnancy. Similarly, greater lifetime exposure to stressful and traumatic events weighted by reported negative impact (over the previous 12 months) was associated with significantly greater hair cortisol during pregnancy. All analyses controlled for maternal age, education, body mass index (BMI), use of inhaled corticosteroids, race/ethnicity, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms. Following stratification by race/ethnicity, associations between stressful and traumatic life events and hair cortisol were found among Black women only. This is the first study to consider associations between lifetime stress exposures and hair cortisol in a sociodemographically diverse sample of pregnant women. Increased exposure to stressful and traumatic events, independent of PTSD and depressive symptoms, was associated with higher cortisol production, particularly in Black women. Future research should investigate the influence of such increased cortisol exposure on developmental outcomes among offspring. PMID:26551892

  14. Lifetime exposure to traumatic and other stressful life events and hair cortisol in a multi-racial/ethnic sample of pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Hannah M C; Enlow, Michelle Bosquet; Ritz, Thomas; Coull, Brent A; Gennings, Chris; Wright, Robert O; Wright, Rosalind J

    2016-01-01

    We examined whether lifetime exposure to stressful and traumatic events alters hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning, as indexed by hair cortisol, regardless of associated psychopathology, among pregnant women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. 180 women provided hair samples for measurement of integrated cortisol levels throughout pregnancy and information regarding their lifetime exposure to stressful and traumatic life events. Results indicate that increased lifetime exposure to traumatic events was associated with significantly greater hair cortisol over the course of pregnancy. Similarly, greater lifetime exposure to stressful and traumatic events weighted by reported negative impact (over the previous 12 months) was associated with significantly greater hair cortisol during pregnancy. All analyses controlled for maternal age, education, body mass index (BMI), use of inhaled corticosteroids, race/ethnicity, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms. Following stratification by race/ethnicity, associations between stressful and traumatic life events and hair cortisol were found among Black women only. This is the first study to consider associations between lifetime stress exposures and hair cortisol in a sociodemographically diverse sample of pregnant women. Increased exposure to stressful and traumatic events, independent of PTSD and depressive symptoms, was associated with higher cortisol production, particularly in Black women. Future research should investigate the influence of such increased cortisol exposure on developmental outcomes among offspring.

  15. Maternal Immunization

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Helen Y.; Englund, Janet A.

    2014-01-01

    Maternal immunization has the potential to protect the pregnant woman, fetus, and infant from vaccine-preventable diseases. Maternal immunoglobulin G is actively transported across the placenta, providing passive immunity to the neonate and infant prior to the infant's ability to respond to vaccines. Currently inactivated influenza, tetanus toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccines are recommended during pregnancy. Several other vaccines have been studied in pregnancy and found to be safe and immunogenic and to provide antibody to infants. These include pneumococcus, group B Streptococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and meningococcus vaccines. Other vaccines in development for potential maternal immunization include respiratory syncytial virus, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus vaccines. PMID:24799324

  16. Is afternoon cortisol more reliable than waking cortisol in association studies of children with an ASD?

    PubMed

    Sharpley, Christopher F; Bitsika, Vicki; Andronicos, Nicholas M; Agnew, Linda L

    2016-03-01

    Salivary cortisol may be used as a biomarker of stress and anxiety in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is particularly valuable in studies of the association between stress-related cortisol concentrations and other factors such as comorbid disorders or aspects of the ASD phenotype. Although protocols for the collection of cortisol shortly after waking are often based on the assumption of the presence of a diurnal rhythm in cortisol, that rhythm may not be as reliable in children with an ASD as in non-ASD children. Alternatively, collecting cortisol during the afternoon may represent a more reliable procedure with less inter-participant variability.

  17. Prenatal glucocorticoids and maternal smoking during pregnancy independently program adult nicotine dependence in daughters: A 40-year prospective study

    PubMed Central

    Stroud, Laura R.; Papandonatos, George; Shenassa, Edmond; Rodriguez, Daniel; Niaura, Raymond; LeWinn, Kaja; Lipsitt, Lewis P.; Buka, Stephen L.

    2013-01-01

    Background Maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) is an independent risk factor for offspring nicotine dependence (ND), but mechanisms remain unknown. We investigated prenatal glucocorticoid (cortisol) and androgen (testosterone) associations with offspring ND over 40 years, and the possibility that prenatal glucocorticoids and androgens would mediate links between MSDP and offspring ND. Methods Participants were 1,086 mother-adult offspring pairs (59% female) from the New England Family Study, a 40-year longitudinal follow up of the Collaborative Perinatal Project. MSDP was assessed prospectively at each prenatal visit. Maternal cortisol, testosterone, and cotinine (nicotine metabolite), were assayed from third trimester maternal sera. Offspring lifetime ND was assessed via structured interview. Results Significant bivariate associations emerged for: a) MSDP/cotinine and lifetime ND, and b) maternal cortisol and lifetime ND, for daughters only. In multivariate models, maternal cortisol and MSDP/cotinine remained significantly and independently associated with increased odds of daughters’ lifetime ND. However, cortisol did not mediate the MSDP-lifetime ND relation. No associations emerged between maternal testosterone and offspring ND. Conclusions Results provide the first evidence in support of prenatal glucocorticoid programming of adult ND over 40 years in daughters only. Our study highlights two independent prenatal pathways leading to increased risk for ND in daughters: elevated prenatal glucocorticoids and MSDP/nicotine exposure. Daughter-specific effects of glucocorticoid and MSDP programming over 40 years highlight the breadth and persistence of sexually dimorphic programming effects in humans. Results do not support androgen programming of offspring ND. PMID:24034414

  18. Maternal stress and plural breeding with communal care affect development of the endocrine stress response in a wild rodent.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Carolyn M; Hayes, Loren D; Ebensperger, Luis A; Ramírez-Estrada, Juan; León, Cecilia; Davis, Garrett T; Romero, L Michael

    2015-09-01

    Maternal stress can significantly affect offspring fitness. In laboratory rodents, chronically stressed mothers provide poor maternal care, resulting in pups with hyperactive stress responses. These hyperactive stress responses are characterized by high glucocorticoid levels in response to stressors plus poor negative feedback, which can ultimately lead to decreased fitness. In degus (Octodon degus) and other plural breeding rodents that exhibit communal care, however, maternal care from multiple females may buffer the negative impact on pups born to less parental mothers. We used wild, free-living degus to test this hypothesis. After parturition, we manipulated maternal stress by implanting cortisol pellets in 0%, 50-75%, or 100% of adult females within each social group. We then sampled pups for baseline and stress-induced cortisol, negative feedback efficacy, and adrenal sensitivity. From groups where all mothers were implanted with cortisol, pups had lower baseline cortisol levels and male pups additionally had weaker negative feedback compared to 0% or 50-75% implanted groups. Contrary to expectations, stress-induced cortisol did not differ between treatment groups. These data suggest that maternal stress impacts some aspects of the pup stress response, potentially through decreased maternal care, but that presence of unstressed mothers may mitigate some of these effects. Therefore, one benefit of plural breeding with communal care may be to buffer post-natal stress.

  19. A test of maternal programming of offspring stress response to predation risk in threespine sticklebacks.

    PubMed

    Mommer, Brett C; Bell, Alison M

    2013-10-02

    Non-genetic maternal effects are widespread across taxa and challenge our traditional understanding of inheritance. Maternal experience with predators, for example, can have lifelong consequences for offspring traits, including fitness. Previous work in threespine sticklebacks showed that females exposed to simulated predation risk produced eggs with higher cortisol content and offspring with altered anti-predator behavior. However, it is unknown whether this maternal effect is mediated via the offspring glucocorticoid stress response and if it is retained over the entire lifetime of offspring. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that maternal exposure to simulated predation risk has long-lasting effects on the cortisol response to simulated predation risk in stickleback offspring. We measured circulating concentrations of cortisol before (baseline), 15 min after, and 60 min after exposure to a simulated predation risk. We compared adult offspring of predator-exposed mothers and control mothers in two different social environments (alone or in a group). Relative to baseline, offspring plasma cortisol was highest 15 min after exposure to simulated predation risk and decreased after 60 min. Offspring of predator-exposed mothers differed in the cortisol response to simulated predation risk compared to offspring of control mothers. In general, females had higher cortisol than males, and fish in a group had lower cortisol than fish that were by themselves. The buffering effect of the social environment did not differ between maternal treatments or between males and females. Altogether the results show that while a mother's experience with simulated predation risk might affect the physiological response of her adult offspring to a predator, sex and social isolation have much larger effects on the stress response to predation risk in sticklebacks.

  20. Electrochemical Sensing of Cortisol: A Recent Update

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Aparajita; Kaushik, Ajeet; Kumar, Rajesh; Nair, Madhavan; Bhansali, Shekhar

    2014-01-01

    Psychological stress caused by everyday life style contributes to health disparities experience by individuals. It affects many biomarkers, but cortisol “a steroid hormone” is known as a potential biomarker for psychological stress detection. Abnormal levels of cortisol, is indicative of conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome Addison’s disease, adrenal insufficiencies and more recently post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Chromatographic techniques, which are traditionally used to detect cortisol, are a complex system requiring multistep extraction/purification. This limits its application for point-of-care (POC) detection of cortisol. However, electrochemical immunosensing of cortisol is a recent advancement towards POC application. This review highlights simple, low-cost, and label-free electrochemical immunosensing platforms which have been developed recently for sensitive and selective detection of cortisol in biofluids. Electrochemical detection is utilized for the detection of cortisol using Anti-Cortisol antibodies (Anti-Cab) covalently immobilized on nanostructures such as self-assembled monolayer (SAM), polymer composite, etc. for POC integration of sensors. The observed information can be used as prototype to understand behavioral changes in humans in case to case such as farmers, fire fighters, etc. Keeping the future directions and challenges in mind the focus of the BioMEMS and Microsystems Research Group at Florida International University is on development of POC devices for immunosensing, integration of these devices with microfluidics, cross validation with existing technologies, and analysis of real sample. PMID:24723204

  1. The interaction between maternal stress and the ontogeny of the innate immune system during teleost embryogenesis: implications for aquaculture practice.

    PubMed

    Li, M; Leatherland, J F

    2012-11-01

    The barrier defences and acellular innate immune proteins play critical roles during the early-stage fish embryos prior to the development of functional organ systems. The innate immune proteins in the yolk of embryos are of maternal origin. Maternal stress affects the maternal-to-embryo transfer of these proteins and, therefore, environmental stressors may change the course of embryo development, including embryonic immunocompetency, via their deleterious effect on maternal physiology. This review focuses on the associations that exist between maternal stress, maternal endocrine disturbance and the responses of the acellular innate immune proteins of early-stage fish embryos. Early-stage teleostean embryos are dependent upon the adult female for the formation of the zona pellucida as an essential barrier defence, for their supply of nutrients, and for the innate immunity proteins and antibodies that are transferred from the maternal circulation to the oocytes; maternally derived hormones are also transferred, some of which (such as cortisol) are known to exert a suppressive action on some aspects of the immune defences. This review summarizes what is known about the effects of oocyte cortisol content on the immune system components in early embryos. The review also examines recent evidence that embryonic cells during early cleavage have the capacity to respond to increased maternal cortisol transfer; this emphasizes the importance of maternal and early immune competence on the later life of fishes, both in the wild and in intensive culture.

  2. Night-Time Noise Index Based on the Integration of Awakening Potential.

    PubMed

    Tagusari, Junta; Takashima, Tomoya; Furukawa, Satoshi; Matsui, Toshihito

    2016-03-01

    Sleep disturbance induced by night-time noise is a serious environmental problem that can cause adverse health effects, such as hypertension and ischemic heart disease. Night-time noise indices are used to facilitate the enforcement of permitted noise levels during night-time. However, existing night-time noise indices, such as sound exposure level (SEL), maximum sound level (LA max) and night equivalent level (L night) are selected mainly because of practical reasons. Therefore, this study proposes a noise index based on neurophysiological determinants of the awakening process. These determinants have revealed that the potential on awakening is likely integrated into the brainstem that dominates wakefulness and sleep. From this evidence, a night-time noise index, N awake,year, was redefined based on the integration of the awakening potential unit (p unit) estimated from the existing dose-response relationships of awakening. The newly-defined index considers the total number of awakenings and covers a wide-range and number of noise events. We also presented examples of its applicability to traffic noise. Although further studies are needed, it may reveal a reasonable dose-response relationship between sleep disturbance and adverse health effects and provide a consistent explanation for the risks of different sound sources where the characteristics of noise exposure are quite different.

  3. Cortisol Stress Response Variability in Early Adolescence: Attachment, Affect and Sex.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Catherine Ann; McKay, Stacey; Susman, Elizabeth J; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; Wright, Joan M; Weinberg, Joanne

    2017-01-01

    Attachment, affect, and sex shape responsivity to psychosocial stress. Concurrent social contexts influence cortisol secretion, a stress hormone and biological marker of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Patterns of attachment, emotion status, and sex were hypothesized to relate to bifurcated, that is, accentuated and attenuated, cortisol reactivity. The theoretical framework for this study posits that multiple individual differences mediate a cortisol stress response. The effects of two psychosocial stress interventions, a modified Trier Social Stress Test for Teens and the Frustration Social Stressor for Adolescents were developed and investigated with early adolescents. Both of these protocols induced a significant stress reaction and evoked predicted bifurcation in cortisol responses; an increase or decrease from baseline to reactivity. In Study I, 120 predominantly middle-class, Euro-Canadian early adolescents with a mean age of 13.43 years were studied. The girls' attenuated cortisol reactivity to the public performance stressor related significantly to their self-reported lower maternal-attachment and higher trait-anger. In Study II, a community sample of 146 predominantly Euro-Canadian middle-class youth, with an average age of 14.5 years participated. Their self-reports of higher trait-anger and trait-anxiety, and lower parental attachment by both sexes related differentially to accentuated and attenuated cortisol reactivity to the frustration stressor. Thus, attachment, affect, sex, and the stressor contextual factors were associated with the adrenal-cortical responses of these adolescents through complex interactions. Further studies of individual differences in physiological responses to stress are called for in order to clarify the identities of concurrent protective and risk factors in the psychosocial stress and physiological stress responses of early adolescents.

  4. Effects of the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System on Oxytocin and Cortisol Blood Levels in Mothers.

    PubMed

    Krause, Sabrina; Pokorny, Dan; Schury, Katharina; Doyen-Waldecker, Cornelia; Hulbert, Anna-Lena; Karabatsiakis, Alexander; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana; Gündel, Harald; Waller, Christiane; Buchheim, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Oxytocin, a small neuropeptide of nine amino acids, has been characterized as the "hormone of affiliation" and is stimulated, for instance, in mothers when interacting with their offspring. Variations in maternal oxytocin levels were reported to predict differences in the quality of care provided by mothers. In this study, the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP) as a valid measure to assess attachment representations was used as an activating attachment-related stimulus. We investigated whether the AAP induces a release of oxytocin in mothers with a secure attachment representation and a stress-related cortisol response in mothers with an insecure attachment representation. Therefore, pre-post effects of AAP administration on plasma oxytocin and serum cortisol levels were investigated in n = 44 mothers 3 months after parturition. Oxytocin levels increased from pre to post in the significant majority of 73% participants (p = 0.004) and cortisol decreased in the significant majority of 73% participants (p = 0.004). Interestingly, no association between alterations in oxytocin and cortisol were found; this suggests taking a model of two independent processes into considerations. These results show that the AAP test procedure induces an oxytocin response. Concerning the results within the four AAP representation subgroups, our hypothesis of a particularly strong increase in oxytocin in secure mothers was not confirmed; however, in secure mothers we observed a particularly strong decrease in cortisol. Effect sizes are reported, allowing the replication of results in a larger study with sufficient sample size to draw final conclusions with respect to differences in OT and cortisol alterations depending on attachment representation. When interpreting the results, one should keep in mind that this study investigated lactating mothers. Thus, the generalizability of results is limited and future studies should investigate non-lactating healthy females as well as

  5. Effects of the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System on Oxytocin and Cortisol Blood Levels in Mothers

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Sabrina; Pokorny, Dan; Schury, Katharina; Doyen-Waldecker, Cornelia; Hulbert, Anna-Lena; Karabatsiakis, Alexander; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana; Gündel, Harald; Waller, Christiane; Buchheim, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Oxytocin, a small neuropeptide of nine amino acids, has been characterized as the “hormone of affiliation” and is stimulated, for instance, in mothers when interacting with their offspring. Variations in maternal oxytocin levels were reported to predict differences in the quality of care provided by mothers. In this study, the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP) as a valid measure to assess attachment representations was used as an activating attachment-related stimulus. We investigated whether the AAP induces a release of oxytocin in mothers with a secure attachment representation and a stress-related cortisol response in mothers with an insecure attachment representation. Therefore, pre-post effects of AAP administration on plasma oxytocin and serum cortisol levels were investigated in n = 44 mothers 3 months after parturition. Oxytocin levels increased from pre to post in the significant majority of 73% participants (p = 0.004) and cortisol decreased in the significant majority of 73% participants (p = 0.004). Interestingly, no association between alterations in oxytocin and cortisol were found; this suggests taking a model of two independent processes into considerations. These results show that the AAP test procedure induces an oxytocin response. Concerning the results within the four AAP representation subgroups, our hypothesis of a particularly strong increase in oxytocin in secure mothers was not confirmed; however, in secure mothers we observed a particularly strong decrease in cortisol. Effect sizes are reported, allowing the replication of results in a larger study with sufficient sample size to draw final conclusions with respect to differences in OT and cortisol alterations depending on attachment representation. When interpreting the results, one should keep in mind that this study investigated lactating mothers. Thus, the generalizability of results is limited and future studies should investigate non-lactating healthy females as

  6. Fetal responses to induced maternal relaxation during pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    DiPietro, Janet A.; Costigan, Kathleen A.; Nelson, Priscilla; Gurewitsch, Edith D.; Laudenslager, Mark L.

    2008-01-01

    Fetal responses to induced maternal relaxation during the 32nd week of pregnancy were recorded in 100 maternal-fetal pairs using a digitized data collection system. The 18-minute guided imagery relaxation manipulation generated significant changes in maternal heart rate, skin conductance, respiration period, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Significant alterations in fetal neurobehavior were observed, including decreased fetal heart rate (FHR), increased FHR variability, suppression of fetal motor activity (FM), and increased FM-FHR coupling. Attribution of the two fetal cardiac responses to the guided imagery procedure itself, as opposed to simple rest or recumbency, is tempered by the observed pattern of response. Evaluation of correspondence between changes within individual maternal-fetal pairs revealed significant associations between maternal autonomic measures and fetal cardiac patterns, lower umbilical and uterine artery resistance and increased FHR variability, and declining salivary cortisol and FM activity. Potential mechanisms that may mediate the observed results are discussed. PMID:17919804

  7. Mothers' parenting stress is associated with salivary cortisol profiles in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Korpa, Terpsichori; Pervanidou, Panagiota; Angeli, Eleni; Apostolakou, Filia; Papanikolaou, Katerina; Papassotiriou, Ioannis; Chrousos, George P; Kolaitis, Gerasimos

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the relation between mothers' parenting stress and the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA), as expressed by daily salivary cortisol concentrations, in their children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Seventy-five children aged 6-11 years diagnosed with ADHD predominant hyperactive-impulsive/combined (ADHD-HI/C, N = 49) and inattentive symptoms (ADHD-I, N = 26) and 45 healthy peers and their mothers participated in the study. Μothers completed measures assessing their children's ADHD status, perceived parenting stress (Parenting Stress Index - Short Form, PSI-SF), mothers' symptoms of psychopathology, social support and socioeconomic status. Children's salivary cortisol samples were collected at six different time points on a single day. Mothers of children with ADHD-HI/C reported higher levels of parenting stress than mothers of children with ADHD-I and controls. All PSI-SF subscales showed significant associations with children's cortisol awakening response (CAR) in both ADHD groups, with the exception of the parental distress subscale in the ADHD-I group. In both ADHD groups, the parent-child dysfunctional interaction subscale, the difficult child subscale and the PSI total score were significantly associated with children's CAR. An interrelation is revealed between mothers' high levels of parenting stress and HPAA functioning in children with ADHD. In this population, CAR has been identified as a sensitive peripheral measure of HPAA functioning in children. Lay summaryThis study showed that in families of children diagnosed with ADHD, there is a complex relation between the mothers' high levels of parenting stress and children's atypical hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning.

  8. Appeasing pheromone inhibits cortisol augmentation and agonistic behaviors during social stress in adult miniature pigs.

    PubMed

    Yonezawa, Tomohiro; Koori, Miyuki; Kikusui, Takefumi; Mori, Yuji

    2009-11-01

    Pairing and physical confrontation In adult sows causes social stress reactions and aggressive behaviors. Recently, maternal pig skin secretions were Isolated and a mixture containing several fatty acids, now called pig appeasing pheromone (PAP), was synthesized. In this study, we Investigated the effects of PAP on social and Immune stress response In adult female miniature pigs. PAP or vehicle solvents were sprayed Into the pens of Individually housed adult sows. A two-week exposure to the pheromone did not alter basal salivary Cortisol levels or clrcadlan rhythms. Following this treatment, the animals were paired and placed In a new pen that was divided with a wire-mesh fence. Although salivary cortisol Increased markedly In the vehicle-treated group, the PAP-treated group exhibited a drastic Inhibition of cortisol secretion. This effect was sustained even after they were allowed to physically Interact following fence removal. Moreover, the latency time of agonistic behaviors, such as escaping or biting, was significantly extended after PAP exposure. When lipopolysaccharide was Injected Intramuscularly, Cortisol levels, rectal temperatures, and lying time lengths Increased substantially. No differences were observed between the pheromone-treated and untreated groups. These results suggest that this synthetic pheromone alleviates social stress In adult pigs, although It does not affect Immune stress responses. Our findings demonstrate the potential benefit of this pheromone In field applications and clinical disciplines relating to adult female pigs.

  9. Maternal PTSD associates with greater glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring of Holocaust survivors.

    PubMed

    Lehrner, Amy; Bierer, Linda M; Passarelli, Vincent; Pratchett, Laura C; Flory, Janine D; Bader, Heather N; Harris, Iris R; Bedi, Aarti; Daskalakis, Nikolaos P; Makotkine, Iouri; Yehuda, Rachel

    2014-02-01

    Intergenerational effects of trauma have been observed clinically in a wide range of populations, and parental PTSD has been associated with an increased risk for psychopathology in offspring. In studies of Holocaust survivor offspring, parental PTSD, and particularly maternal PTSD, has been associated with increased risk for PTSD, low basal urinary cortisol excretion and enhanced cortisol suppression in response to dexamethasone. Such findings implicate maternally derived glucocorticoid programming in the intergenerational transmission of trauma-related consequences, potentially resulting from in utero influences or early life experiences. This study investigated the relative influence of Holocaust exposure and PTSD in mothers and fathers on glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring. Eighty Holocaust offspring and 15 offspring of non-exposed Jewish parents completed evaluations and provided blood and urine samples. Glucocorticoid sensitivity was evaluated using the lysozyme suppression test (LST), an in vitro measure of glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity in a peripheral tissue, the dexamethasone suppression test (DST), and 24-h urinary cortisol excretion. Maternal PTSD was associated with greater glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring across all three measures of glucocorticoid function. An interaction of maternal and paternal PTSD on the DST and 24-h urinary cortisol showed an effect of decreased glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring with paternal, but not maternal, PTSD. Although indirect, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that epigenetic programming may be involved in the intergenerational transmission of trauma-related effects on glucocorticoid regulation.

  10. Maternal PTSD associates with greater glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring of Holocaust survivors

    PubMed Central

    Lehrner, Amy; Bierer, Linda M.; Passarelli, Vincent; Pratchett, Laura C.; Flory, Janine D.; Bader, Heather; Harris, Iris R.; Bedi, Aarti; Daskalakis, Nikolaos P.; Makotkine, Iouri; Yehuda, Rachel

    2014-01-01

    Intergenerational effects of trauma have been observed clinically in a wide range of populations, and parental PTSD has been associated with an increased risk for psychopathology in offspring. In studies of Holocaust survivor offspring, parental PTSD, and particularly maternal PTSD, has been associated with increased risk for PTSD, low basal urinary cortisol excretion and enhanced cortisol suppression in response to dexamethasone. Such findings implicate maternally derived glucocorticoid programming in the intergenerational transmission of trauma-related consequences, potentially resulting from in utero influences or early life experiences. This study investigated the relative influence of Holocaust exposure and PTSD in mothers and fathers on glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring. Eighty Holocaust offspring and 15 offspring of non-exposed Jewish parents completed evaluations and provided blood and urine samples. Glucocorticoid sensitivity was evaluated using the lysozyme suppression test (LST), an in vitro measure of glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity in a peripheral tissue, the dexamethasone suppression test (DST), and 24 hour urinary cortisol excretion. Maternal PTSD was associated with greater glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring across all three measures of glucocorticoid function. An interaction of maternal and paternal PTSD on the DST and 24-hr urinary cortisol showed an effect of decreased glucocorticoid sensitivity in offspring with paternal, but not maternal, PTSD. Although indirect, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that epigenetic programming may be involved in the intergenerational transmission of trauma-related effects on glucocorticoid regulation. PMID:24485493

  11. Testosterone, cortisol, and human competition.

    PubMed

    Casto, Kathleen V; Edwards, David A

    2016-06-01

    Testosterone and cortisol figure prominently in the research literature having to do with human competition. In this review, we track the history of this literature, concentrating particularly on major theoretical and empirical contributions, and provide commentary on what we see as important unresolved issues. In men and women, athletic competition is typically associated with an increase in testosterone (T) and cortisol (C). Hormone changes in response to non-athletic competition are less predictable. Person (e.g., power motivation, mood, aggressiveness, social anxiety, sex, and baseline levels of T and C) and context (e.g., whether a competition is won or lost, the closeness of the competition, whether the outcome is perceived as being influenced by ability vs. chance, provocations) factors can influence hormone responses to competition. From early on, studies pointed to a positive relationship between T and dominance motivation/status striving. Recent research, however, suggests that this relationship only holds for individuals with low levels of C - this is the core idea of the dual-hormone hypothesis, and it is certain that the broadest applications of the hypothesis have not yet been realized. Individuals differ with respect to the extent to which they embrace competition, but the hormonal correlates of competitiveness remain largely unexplored. Although rapid increases in both T and C associated with competition are likely adaptive, we still know very little about the psychological benefits of these hormonal changes. Administration studies have and will continue to contribute to this inquiry. We close with a discussion of what, we think, are important methodological and mechanistic issues for future research.

  12. Interaction between cortisol and cortisol-binding protein in silver foxes (Vulpes fulvus).

    PubMed

    Oskina, I N; Tinnikov, A A

    1992-04-01

    1. Selection of silver foxes for domestic behaviour resulted in the parallel lowering of both cortisol and cortisol-binding protein (CBP) levels in the blood plasma. 2. During seasonal cycles (summer-winter) and after stress an increase in cortisol levels is followed by a decrease in CBP activity. 3. It is concluded that there are two types of interaction between cortisol and CBP in silver foxes: parallel changes in the process of domestication and opposite changes under the influence of environmental factors.

  13. The effect of prenatal Hatha yoga on affect, cortisol and depressive symptoms.

    PubMed

    Bershadsky, Svetlana; Trumpfheller, Linda; Kimble, Holly Beck; Pipaloff, Diana; Yim, Ilona S

    2014-05-01

    Perinatal depression impacts maternal and child health, and little is known about effective interventions. The effects of prenatal Hatha yoga on cortisol, affect and depressive symptoms were investigated in 51 women. Twice during pregnancy, yoga group participants reported on affect and provided a saliva sample before and after a 90-min prenatal Hatha yoga session. Corresponding measures were obtained from yoga and control group participants on days of usual activity. Depressive symptoms were assessed in pregnancy and post partum. Cortisol was lower (p < .01) and positive affect higher (p < .001) on yoga compared to usual activity days. Negative affect and contentment (p < .05) improved more in response to the yoga session. Yoga group participants showed fewer postpartum (p < .05) but not antepartum depressive symptoms than control group participants. Findings indicate that prenatal Hatha yoga may improve current mood and may be effective in reducing postpartum depressive symptoms.

  14. Cortisol in Neonatal Mother's Milk Predicts Later Infant Social and Cognitive Functioning in Rhesus Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Dettmer, Amanda M; Murphy, Ashley M; Guitarra, Denisse; Slonecker, Emily; Suomi, Stephen J; Rosenberg, Kendra L; Novak, Melinda A; Meyer, Jerrold S; Hinde, Katie

    2017-03-29

    Milk provides not only the building blocks for somatic development but also the hormonal signals that contribute to the biopsychological organization of the infant. Among mammals, glucocorticoids (GCs) in mother's milk have been associated with infant temperament. This study extended prior work to investigate rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) mother-infant dyads (N = 34) from birth through 8 months postpartum. Regression analysis revealed that cortisol concentrations in milk during the neonatal period predicted impulsivity on a cognitive task, but not global social behaviors, months later. During this time period, sex-differentiated social behavior emerged. For female infants, milk cortisol concentrations predicted total frequency of play. Collectively, these findings support and extend the "lactational programming" hypothesis on the impact of maternal-origin hormones ingested via milk.

  15. Forming "Connections" and Awakening "Visions": Using Short Story Collections in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lesesne, Teri S.

    1994-01-01

    Discusses how some recent short story collections written for young adults can make studying the genre exciting and interesting for students. Describes how teachers can awaken new vision within students by using the short story in the literature classroom. Focuses on stories written especially for adolescents. (HB)

  16. The Power of Eloquence: Moderation of Style in Puritan Great Awakening Sermons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelms, Gerald

    The latter part of the twentieth century has brought explicit emotional appeals; some by advertisers for commercial goods and others from political and religious leaders. The religious appeals to feelings can be traced back in history to the revivals in the mid-eighteenth century where the "Great Awakening" opened up religious…

  17. Promoting Phonological Awareness in Pre-Primary Education: Possibilities of the "Awakening to Languages" Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lourenço, Mónica; Andrade, Ana Isabel

    2014-01-01

    This article aims at evaluating and understanding the effects of an awakening to languages (AtL) programme, carried out with a group of 21 Portuguese children aged three to six, in the development of phonological awareness (PA). Using mixed-methods research, data was gathered from video recordings of seven AtL sessions and PA tests for an…

  18. "You Are a Racist": An Early Childhood Educator's Racialized Awakening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Summer, Melissa

    2014-01-01

    This article details my racialized awakenings as a White kindergarten teacher after being called a racist by a parent of one of my students. I chronicle critical reflections of myself and my school in terms of latent institutional racism and actions. I share the actions that I have begun in my efforts to counter racism and move toward teaching for…

  19. Physiological Correlates of Maternal Responsivity in Mothers of Preschoolers With Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Ashley N; Roberts, Jane E; Brady, Nancy C; McQuillin, Samuel D; Warren, Steven F

    2016-03-01

    The present study examined the relationship between salivary cortisol and maternal responsiveness in mothers of boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Maternal responsivity is strongly associated with child outcomes, and children with FXS are at risk for compromised development due to intellectual disability and problem behavior. Increased understanding of the nature and underlying mechanisms of maternal responsivity in FXS is important to optimize outcomes in children with FXS and contribute to improved family cohesion. Data from 36 mother-child dyads indicated a complex age effect with elevated cortisol levels associated with high maternal responsivity scores when children are young and low responsivity scores when children are older. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

  20. Physiological Correlates of Maternal Responsivity in Mothers of Preschoolers with Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between salivary cortisol and maternal responsiveness in mothers of boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Maternal responsivity is strongly associated with child outcomes, and children with FXS are at risk for compromised development due to intellectual disabilities and problem behavior. Increased understanding of the nature and underlying mechanisms of maternal responsivity in FXS is important to optimize outcomes in children with FXS and contribute to improved family cohesion. Data from 36 mother-child dyads indicated a complex age effect with elevated cortisol levels associated with high maternal responsivity scores when children are young and low responsivity scores when children are older. Implications of findings and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:26914466

  1. Salivary Cortisol: A Psychophysiological Marker for PTSD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-04-01

    focused on the effects of pain killers ( morphine ) and the development of PTSD. The results indicated that for Soldiers who received morphine ... hippocampus and prevent neurogenesis in the same regions, both of which can interfere with cognition and the future adaptation to stress (Ganzel, Morris...cortisol can damage areas of the hippocampus . The damage caused by the cortisol then causes a lack of ability to cope with stress in the future. This

  2. Zinc oxide nanostructures for electrochemical cortisol biosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vabbina, Phani Kiran; Kaushik, Ajeet; Tracy, Kathryn; Bhansali, Shekhar; Pala, Nezih

    2014-05-01

    In this paper, we report on fabrication of a label free, highly sensitive and selective electrochemical cortisol immunosensors using one dimensional (1D) ZnO nanorods (ZnO-NRs) and two dimensional nanoflakes (ZnO-NFs) as immobilizing matrix. The synthesized ZnO nanostructures (NSs) were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), selective area diffraction (SAED) and photoluminescence spectra (PL) which showed that both ZnO-NRs and ZnO-NFs are single crystalline and oriented in [0001] direction. Anti-cortisol antibody (Anti-Cab) are used as primary capture antibodies to detect cortisol using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The charge transfer resistance increases linearly with increase in cortisol concentration and exhibits a sensitivity of 3.078 KΩ. M-1 for ZnO-NRs and 540 Ω. M -1 for ZnO-NFs. The developed ZnO-NSs based immunosensor is capable of detecting cortisol at 1 pM. The observed sensing parameters are in physiological range. The developed sensors can be integrated with microfluidic system and miniaturized potentiostat to detect cortisol at point-of-care.

  3. The fetal sheep lung does not respond to cortisol infusion during the late canalicular phase of development

    PubMed Central

    McGillick, Erin V; Orgeig, Sandra; McMillen, I Caroline; Morrison, Janna L

    2013-01-01

    The prepartum surge in plasma cortisol concentrations in humans and sheep promotes fetal lung and surfactant system maturation in the support of air breathing after birth. This physiological process has been used to enhance lung maturation in the preterm fetus using maternal administration of betamethasone in the clinical setting in fetuses as young as 24 weeks gestation (term = 40 weeks). Here, we have investigated the impact of fetal intravenous cortisol infusion during the canalicular phase of lung development (from 109- to 116-days gestation, term = 150 ± 3 days) on the expression of genes regulating glucocorticoid (GC) activity, lung liquid reabsorption, and surfactant maturation in the very preterm sheep fetus and compared this to their expression near term. Cortisol infusion had no impact on mRNA expression of the corticosteroid receptors (GC receptor and mineralocorticoid receptor) or HSD11B-2, however, there was increased expression of HSD11B-1 in the fetal lung. Despite this, cortisol infusion had no effect on the expression of genes involved in lung sodium (epithelial sodium channel -α, -β, or -γ subunits and sodium–potassium ATPase-β1 subunit) or water (aquaporin 1, 3, and 5) reabsorption when compared to the level of expression during exposure to the normal prepartum cortisol surge. Furthermore, in comparison to late gestation, cortisol infusion does not increase mRNA expression of surfactant proteins (SFTP-A, -B, and -C) or the number of SFTP-B-positive cells present in the alveolar epithelium, the cells that produce pulmonary surfactant. These data suggest that there may be an age before which the lung is unable to respond biochemically to an increase in fetal plasma cortisol concentrations. PMID:24400136

  4. Effect of the Nature of Subsequent Environment on Oxytocin and Cortisol Secretion in Maltreated Children

    PubMed Central

    Mizushima, Sakae G.; Fujisawa, Takashi X.; Takiguchi, Shinichiro; Kumazaki, Hirokazu; Tanaka, Shiho; Tomoda, Akemi

    2015-01-01

    Childhood maltreatment (CM), including abuse and neglect, is a crucial factor that distorts child development. CM is associated with alterations in numerous brain regions, and may be associated with hormonal dysregulation. This study aimed to investigate differences in secretion patterns of cortisol (CT) and oxytocin (OT) among children who experienced CM, children living in residential care facilities and in unstable environments. Among 38 maltreated children, 23 (mean age = 12.2 years, SD = 3.0) were categorized as “Settled” and 15 (mean age = 13.1 years, SD = 2.2) as “Unsettled.” Twenty-six age- and gender-matched (mean age = 12.6 years, SD = 2.1), typically developing (TD) children were also included. Clinical and psychological assessments, including IQ and trauma evaluations, were conducted for all participants. Age, gender, and full-scale IQ were used as covariates in hormone analysis. Two saliva samples were collected, one on awakening and the other at bedtime. There were significant differences in the awakening CT levels of the “Unsettled” group, and in bedtime OT levels in the “Settled” group as compared with TD children, and between CM groups. Furthermore, there was a significant difference in trauma-symptomatic depression scores between the “Settled” and “Unsettled” CM group. These results suggest that CT diurnal secretions tend to be reactive to current stress rather than previous experience. OT diurnal secretions are presumably hyper-regulated for coping with the environment to survive and thrive. By measuring salivary CT/OT diurnal patterns, hormonal dysregulation of CM children living in “Settled” environments and “Unsettled” environments was indicated. PMID:26696910

  5. Immunosensor with fluid control mechanism for salivary cortisol analysis.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Masaki; Matsuda, Yohei; Sasaki, Shohei; Sasaki, Makoto; Kadoma, Yoshihiro; Imai, Yoshikatsu; Niwa, Daisuke; Shetty, Vivek

    2013-03-15

    The purpose of this research is to demonstrate a new design for a cortisol immunosensor for the noninvasive and quantitative analysis of salivary cortisol. We propose a cortisol immunosensor with a fluid control mechanism which has both a vertical flow and a lateral flow. The detected current resulting from a competitive reaction between the sample cortisol and a glucose oxidase (GOD)-labeled cortisol conjugate was found to be inversely related to the concentration of cortisol in the sample solution. A calibration curve using the relative detected current showed a R(2)=0.98 and CV=14% for a range of standard cortisol solutions corresponding to the concentrations of native salivary cortisol (0.1-10 ng/ml). The measurement could be accomplished within 35 min and the cortisol immunosensor could be reused. These results show promise for realizing an on-site and easy-to-use biosensor for cortisol. Used for evaluation of human salivary cortisol levels, the cortisol immunosensor measurement corresponded closely with commercially available ELISA method (R(2)=0.92). Our results indicate the promise of the new cortisol immunosensor for noninvasive, point of care measurement of human salivary cortisol levels.

  6. Association of Job Strain With Cortisol and Alpha-Amylase Among Shift-Working Health Care Professionals in Laboratory and Field.

    PubMed

    Karhula, Kati; Härmä, Mikko; Sallinen, Mikael; Lindholm, Harri; Hirvonen, Ari; Elovainio, Marko; Kivimäki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi; Puttonen, Sampsa

    2016-01-01

    Although the prevalence of work-related stress has increased, knowledge on the contributions of that stress to long-term adverse health effects is still lacking. Stress biomarkers can reveal early signs of negative health effects, but no previous studies have measured both acute stress reactions and long-term exposure to job strain using both salivary cortisol and α-amylase (AA). The present study examines the association between job strain and these biomarkers among shift-working female health care professionals in the laboratory and the field. The 95 participants were recruited from hospital wards categorized in either the top (high job strain [HJS] group, n = 42) or the bottom quartile of job strain (low job strain [LJS] group, n = 53), as rated by survey responses. Participants' self-perceived job strain was at least as high or low as the ward's average estimation. Saliva samples were collected during the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), preselected morning and night shifts, and a day off. There was a larger increase in the cortisol concentration of participants in the HJS than in the LJS group (2.27- vs. 1.48-fold, respectively, nonsignificant) during the TSST. Participants in the HJS group also had higher salivary AA levels 30 min after awakening on the morning-shift day than those in the LJS group (p = .02), whereas the salivary cortisol awakening response on the day off was higher in the LJS group (p = .05, education as a covariate). The remaining stress-biomarker results did not differ significantly between groups. These data suggest that HJS in shift-working health care professionals is weakly associated with changes in stress biomarkers.

  7. Aircraft noise-induced awakenings are more reasonably predicted from relative than from absolute sound exposure levels.

    PubMed

    Fidell, Sanford; Tabachnick, Barbara; Mestre, Vincent; Fidell, Linda

    2013-11-01

    Assessment of aircraft noise-induced sleep disturbance is problematic for several reasons. Current assessment methods are based on sparse evidence and limited understandings; predictions of awakening prevalence rates based on indoor absolute sound exposure levels (SELs) fail to account for appreciable amounts of variance in dosage-response relationships and are not freely generalizable from airport to airport; and predicted awakening rates do not differ significantly from zero over a wide range of SELs. Even in conjunction with additional predictors, such as time of night and assumed individual differences in "sensitivity to awakening," nominally SEL-based predictions of awakening rates remain of limited utility and are easily misapplied and misinterpreted. Probabilities of awakening are more closely related to SELs scaled in units of standard deviates of local distributions of aircraft SELs, than to absolute sound levels. Self-selection of residential populations for tolerance of nighttime noise and habituation to airport noise environments offer more parsimonious and useful explanations for differences in awakening rates at disparate airports than assumed individual differences in sensitivity to awakening.

  8. Prenatal maternal distress seems to be associated with the infant's temperament and motor development: an explorative study.

    PubMed

    Haselbeck, Christin; Niederberger, Uwe; Kulle, Alexandra; Wache, Katharina; Brauner, Ellen; Gutermuth, Merlin; Holterhus, Paul-Martin; Gerber, Wolf-Dieter; Siniatchkin, Michael

    2017-03-30

    According to the concept of fetal programming, prenatal distress has long-lasting consequences on the offspring's health later in life. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is considered a mediating system by which maternal distress is transferred to the fetus in intrauterine environment. In this longitudinal explorative study on 30 mother-child-dyads, reported maternal distress and salivary cortisol were collected during pregnancy. Infant temperament, motor and cognitive development were assessed at 16 months. Additionally, infant cortisol levels throughout the day and in reaction to a psycho-social stressor where measured. As expected, infants whose mothers had experienced higher prenatal distress expressed a more difficult temperament and lower fine motor development at 16 months. No association could be shown between prenatal maternal distress and infant salivary cortisol.

  9. Current Concepts of Maternal Nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Lowensohn, Richard I.; Stadler, Diane D.; Naze, Christie

    2016-01-01

    Background A nutrient-rich maternal diet before and during pregnancy is associated with improved fetal health, more appropriate birth weight, and increased rates of maternal and infant survival. Physicians need a better understanding of the role of diet in shaping fetal outcomes. Given this background, we reviewed and summarized articles on maternal nutrition found in MEDLINE since 1981, written in English, and limited to human subjects. For the Offspring Maternal diets high in sugar and fat lead to an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease later in life. Folic acid should be supplemented prior to conception and continued through at least the first 28 days of fetal life to prevent neural tube defects, and vitamin C should be given to women who smoke to lower the incidence of asthma and wheezing in the children. Iodine deficiency is increasing, and iodine should be included in prenatal supplements. If the maternal hemoglobin is 7 g/dL or more, there is no evidence that iron supplementation is needed. Fish intake during pregnancy is protective against atopic outcomes, whereas high-meat diets contribute to elevated adult blood pressure and hypersecretion of cortisol. For the Mother Calcium supplementation lowers the risk of preeclampsia and hypertensive disease in pregnancy. Conclusions Given the limits of our current knowledge, a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and selected fish is desirable for the best outcomes. Diets high in sugar and fat lead to higher rates of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Folic acid, iodine, and calcium in all pregnant women and vitamin C in smokers are the only supplements so far shown to be of value for routine use. The physician treating a pregnant woman should be ready to advise a healthy diet for the benefit of the fetus. Target Audience Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians Learning Objectives After participating in this activity, the

  10. Effects of Hatha Yoga on Blood Pressure, Salivary α-Amylase, and Cortisol Function Among Normotensive and Prehypertensive Youth

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Martina; Gregoski, Mathew J.; Brunner-Jackson, Brenda; McQuade, Lisa; Matthews, Cameron; Treiber, Frank A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objective: Evidence is accumulating, predominantly among clinical trials in adults, that yoga improves blood pressure (BP) control, with downregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) projected as underlying mechanisms. This pilot study assessed whether Hatha yoga has the potential to reduce BP among youth and whether dampening of the SNS and/or HPA activity is a likely pathway of change. Design: Thirty-one seventh graders were randomly assigned to a Hatha yoga program (HYP) or attention control (AC) music or art class. Baseline and 3-month evaluations included resting BP; overnight urine samples; and saliva collected at bedtime, upon awakening, and at 30 and 60 minutes after awakening for α-amylase and cortisol assays. Results: Twenty-eight (14 in the HYP group and 14 in the AC group) students were assessed both before and after the intervention. BP changes from pre- to post-intervention were −3.0/−2.0 mmHg for the HYP group and −0.07/−0.79 mmHg for the AC group (p=0.30 and 0.57, respectively). Changes in systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP) for the prehypertensive (75th–94th percentiles for SBP) subgroup analyses were −10.75/−8.25 mmHg for the HYP group (n=4) versus 1.8/1.0 mmHg for the AC group (n=5) (p for SBP=0.02; p for DBP=0.09). Although no statistically significant group differences were observed with changes in SNS or HPA awakening curves (area under curve for α-amylase and cortisol, respectively), a small to moderate effect size was seen favoring a reduction of α-amylase activation for the HYP group (Cohen d=0.34; prehypertensive d=0.20). Conclusions: A school-based Hatha yoga program demonstrated potential to decrease resting BP, particularly among prehypertensive youth. Reduced SNS drive may be an underlying neurohormonal pathway beneficially affected by the program. A large-scale efficacy/effectiveness randomized clinical trial is warranted. PMID:24620850

  11. Acute and chronic stress increase salivary cortisol: a study in the real-life setting of a national examination undertaken by medical graduates.

    PubMed

    González-Cabrera, J; Fernández-Prada, M; Iribar-Ibabe, C; Peinado, J M

    2014-03-01

    Spanish medical graduates who apply for a medical specialty training position (MIR) must take an examination that will shape their future personal and professional lives. Preparation for the test represents an important stressor that persists for several months. The aim of this study was to elucidate the stress pattern of this group and evaluate possible changes in the circadian rhythm of cortisol release in medical graduates preparing for this test. A repeated-measures longitudinal study was performed, measuring the salivary cortisol concentrations in 36 medical graduates (13 males and 23 females; mean age of 24.2 years) on five sampling days. Five cortisol samples were collected from 07:00 to 21:00 h in order to monitor changes in the circadian rhythm. On all sampling days (except on the day of the official examination), anxiety and psychological stress were evaluated with the Spanish versions of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). During the study period, participants showed higher levels of anxiety than the Spanish reference population as well as a progressive increase in self-perceived stress. A significant increase in salivary cortisol concentration was observed in both chronic (study and examination preparation) and acute (examinations) situations. Our results suggest that the cortisol awakening response (CAR) may be a good indicator of anticipatory stress but is unaffected by long-term examination preparation. Comparison of results between the official examination day and the mock examination days yielded evidence that learning may modulate the behavior of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

  12. Homocysteine, Cortisol, Diabetes Mellitus, and Psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Kontoangelos, K.; Papageorgiou, C. C.; Raptis, A. E.; Tsiotra, P.; Lambadiari, V.; Papadimitriou, G. N.; Rabavilas, A. D.; Dimitriadis, G.; Raptis, S. A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective. This study investigates the association of homocysteine and cortisol with psychological factors in type 2 diabetic patients. Method. Homocysteine, cortisol, and psychological variables were analyzed from 131 diabetic patients. Psychological factors were assessed with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire (HDHQ), the Symptom Checklist 90-R (SCL 90-R), the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (ZDRS), and the Maudsley O-C Inventory Questionnaire (MOCI). Blood samples were taken by measuring homocysteine and cortisol in both subgroups during the initial phase of the study (T0). One year later (T1), the uncontrolled diabetic patients were reevaluated with the use of the same psychometric instruments and with an identical blood analysis. Results. The relation of psychoticism and homocysteine is positive among controlled diabetic patients (P value = 0.006 < 0.05) and negative among uncontrolled ones (P value = 0.137). Higher values of cortisol correspond to lower scores on extraversion subscale (rp = −0.223, P value = 0.010). Controlled diabetic patients showed a statistically significant negative relationship between homocysteine and the act-out hostility subscale (rsp = −0.247, P = 0.023). There is a statistically significant relationship between homocysteine and somatization (rsp = −0.220, P = 0.043). Conclusions. These findings support the notion that homocysteine and cortisol are related to trait and state psychological factors in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. PMID:25722989

  13. Circulating cortisol levels after exogenous cortisol administration are higher in women using hormonal contraceptives: data from two preliminary studies.

    PubMed

    Gaffey, Allison E; Wirth, Michelle M; Hoks, Roxanne M; Jahn, Allison L; Abercrombie, Heather C

    2014-07-01

    Exogenous cortisol administration has been used to test the influence of glucocorticoids on a variety of outcomes, including memory and affect. Careful control of factors known to influence cortisol and other endogenous hormone levels is central to the success of this research. While the use of hormonal birth control (HBC) is known to exert many physiological effects, including decreasing the salivary cortisol response to stress, it is unknown how HBC influences circulating cortisol levels after exogenous cortisol administration. To determine those effects, we examined the role of HBC on participants' cortisol levels after receiving synthetic cortisol (hydrocortisone) in two separate studies. In Study 1, 24 healthy women taking HBC and 26 healthy men were administered a 0.1 mg/kg body weight intravenous dose of hydrocortisone, and plasma cortisol levels were measured over 3 h. In Study 2, 61 participants (34 women; 16 were on HBC) received a 15 mg hydrocortisone pill, and salivary cortisol levels were measured over 6 h. Taken together, results from these studies suggest that HBC use is associated with a greater cortisol increase following cortisol administration. These data have important methodological implications: (1) when given a controlled dose of hydrocortisone, cortisol levels may increase more dramatically in women taking HBC versus women not on HBC or men; and (2) in studies manipulating cortisol levels, women on hormonal contraceptives should be investigated as a separate group.

  14. Effects of smoking on ACTH and cortisol secretion

    SciTech Connect

    Seyler, L.E. Jr.; Fertig, J.; Pomerleau, O.; Hunt, D.; Parker, K.

    1984-01-02

    The relationships among changes in plasma nicotine, ACTH, and cortisol secretion after smoking were investigated. Ten male subjects smoked cigarettes containing 2.87 mg nicotine and 0.48 mg nicotine. No rises in cortisol or ACTH were detected after smoking 0.48 mg nicotine cigarettes. Cortisol rises were significant in 11 of 15 instances after smoking 2.87 mg nicotine cigarattes, but ACTH rose significantly in only 5 of the 11 instances where cortisol increased. Each ACTH rise occurred in a subject who reported nausea and was observed to be pale, sweaty, and tachycardic. Peak plasma nicotine concentrations were not significantly different in sessions when cortisol rose with or without ACTH increases, but cortisol increases were significantly greater in nauseated than in non-nauseated smokers. This data suggest that smoking-induced nausea stimulates cortisol release by stimulating ACTH secretion and that cortisol secretion in non-nauseated smokers may occur through a non-ACTH mechanism.

  15. Increased testosterone to cortisol ratio in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Glenn, Andrea L.; Raine, Adrian; Schug, Robert A.; Gao, Yu; Granger, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Only a few studies have examined hormones in psychopathy and results have been mixed. It has been suggested that since hormone systems are highly interconnected, it may be important to examine multiple systems simultaneously to gain a clearer picture of how hormones work together to predispose for a certain construct. In the present study, we attempt to clarify the role of the hormones cortisol and testosterone in psychopathy by examining both hormones in a community sample of 178 adults demonstrating a wide range of psychopathy scores. Results showed that psychopathy scores were associated with an increased ratio of testosterone (baseline) to cortisol responsivity to a stressor. Psychopathy was not associated with either of these measures independently, or with baseline cortisol levels. These findings suggest that these highly interconnected hormone systems may work in concert to predispose to psychopathy. PMID:21133509

  16. Maternal early-life trauma and affective parenting style: the mediating role of HPA-axis function.

    PubMed

    Juul, Sarah H; Hendrix, Cassandra; Robinson, Brittany; Stowe, Zachary N; Newport, D Jeffrey; Brennan, Patricia A; Johnson, Katrina C

    2016-02-01

    A history of childhood trauma is associated with increased risk for psychopathology and interpersonal difficulties in adulthood and, for those who have children, impairments in parenting and increased risk of negative outcomes in offspring. Physiological and behavioral mechanisms are poorly understood. In the current study, maternal history of childhood trauma was hypothesized to predict differences in maternal affect and HPA axis functioning. Mother-infant dyads (N = 255) were assessed at 6 months postpartum. Mothers were videotaped during a 3-min naturalistic interaction, and their behavior was coded for positive, neutral, and negative affect. Maternal salivary cortisol was measured six times across the study visit, which also included an infant stressor paradigm. Results showed that childhood trauma history predicted increased neutral affect and decreased mean cortisol in the mothers and that cortisol mediated the association between trauma history and maternal affect. Maternal depression was not associated with affective measures or cortisol. Results suggest that early childhood trauma may disrupt the development of the HPA axis, which in turn impairs affective expression during mother-infant interactions in postpartum women. Interventions aimed at treating psychiatric illness in postpartum women may benefit from specific components to assess and treat trauma-related symptoms and prevent secondary effects on parenting.

  17. Social regulation of cortisol receptor gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Korzan, Wayne J.; Grone, Brian P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2014-01-01

    In many social species, individuals influence the reproductive capacity of conspecifics. In a well-studied African cichlid fish species, Astatotilapia burtoni, males are either dominant (D) and reproductively competent or non-dominant (ND) and reproductively suppressed as evidenced by reduced gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH1) release, regressed gonads, lower levels of androgens and elevated levels of cortisol. Here, we asked whether androgen and cortisol levels might regulate this reproductive suppression. Astatotilapia burtoni has four glucocorticoid receptors (GR1a, GR1b, GR2 and MR), encoded by three genes, and two androgen receptors (ARα and ARβ), encoded by two genes. We previously showed that ARα and ARβ are expressed in GnRH1 neurons in the preoptic area (POA), which regulates reproduction, and that the mRNA levels of these receptors are regulated by social status. Here, we show that GR1, GR2 and MR mRNAs are also expressed in GnRH1 neurons in the POA, revealing potential mechanisms for both androgens and cortisol to influence reproductive capacity. We measured AR, MR and GR mRNA expression levels in a microdissected region of the POA containing GnRH1 neurons, comparing D and ND males. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we found D males had higher mRNA levels of ARα, MR, total GR1a and GR2 in the POA compared with ND males. In contrast, ND males had significantly higher levels of GR1b mRNA, a receptor subtype with a reduced transcriptional response to cortisol. Through this novel regulation of receptor type, neurons in the POA of an ND male will be less affected by the higher levels of cortisol typical of low status, suggesting GR receptor type change as a potential adaptive mechanism to mediate high cortisol levels during social suppression. PMID:25013108

  18. Stress and salivary cortisol during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Obel, C; Hedegaard, M; Henriksen, T B; Secher, N J; Olsen, J; Levine, S

    2005-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether exposure to stressful life events was associated with changes in levels of circulating cortisol during pregnancy in a population of 603 pregnant women. The participating pregnant women filled out a questionnaire and collected a morning and evening sample of saliva in early pregnancy (median 14th gestational week) and in late pregnancy (median and 30th gestational week). They were asked to report the number of life events experienced during first and second trimester, respectively, and were asked to rate the intensity of the experienced events. Complications related to the pregnancy such as vaginal bleeding and suspected growth retardation were registered and the women were asked about concerns about their pregnancy. The salivary samples were analyzed for cortisol and the levels were higher in late than in early pregnancy. In late pregnancy women exposed to more than one life event or were concerned about pregnancy complications during second trimester had a higher evening cortisol level, whereas morning values were unaffected. After adjustment for smoking women who experienced more than one very stressful life event had 27% higher evening cortisol concentrations (95% confidence intervals: 1-59%). Women with worries about pregnancy complications had 27% (95% confidence intervals: 2-57%) higher levels. In early pregnancy women reporting stressful life events did not have higher evening cortisol levels, but tended to have a blunted morning HPA response. In conclusion, we found differences in the associations between chronic stress in early and late pregnancy and cortisol levels indicating that the response to chronic stress is dependent on the stage of the pregnancy.

  19. Children's Diurnal Cortisol Activity during the First Year of School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Pei-Jung; Lamb, Michael E.; Kappler, Gregor; Ahnert, Lieselotte

    2017-01-01

    The present study examined 4- to 5-year-old British children's diurnal cortisol activity during their first year of school. The children's cortisol was measured before enrollment (baseline), upon enrollment, and both 3 and 6 months after enrollment. On each day, cortisol was sampled four times, providing information about the diurnal amount of…

  20. Awakening to the politics of food: Politicized diet as social identity.

    PubMed

    Chuck, Chelsea; Fernandes, Samantha A; Hyers, Lauri L

    2016-12-01

    In this qualitative study, the process of developing a politicized identity around diet was explored through a social psychological lens. Applying one of the most influencial models of group identity development proposed by Cross (1978) in which an "encounter" experience spurs an awakening into a politicized identity, we asked 36 participants who followed alternative diets due to political reasons to describe their unique encounter experiences that brought them to their politicized awakening. Their self-identified diets included pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, raw, non-GMO/organic, and reduced meat consumption. Participants described the rationale for their diets, their "encounter" or awakening to their politicized diets, and whether they viewed their diet as a part of their identity. Using thematic analysis, we identified four key types of encounters that sparked their politicization: a series of integrated events, exposure to educational materials, a direct visceral emotional experience, and guidance from a role model. We discuss the results with regard to the politics of food, the nature of the politicized dieter's identity as part of a minority food culture, and the difficulties of engaging in political action through one's diet. The underexplored benefits of applying social psychological theories of identity to research on dietary subcultures is also discussed.

  1. The relationship between calculated effect-site sevoflurane levels and awakening from anaesthesia.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, R R; Sakowska, M M

    2006-12-01

    We have previously described a system that displays real-time estimates of effect-site sevoflurane concentrations. Estimates of effect-site levels should be similar to minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) values, which are determined after allowing time for equilibrium. This study aimed to determine estimated effect-site sevoflurane concentrations at awakening from routine anaesthesia and to compare this with published estimates of MAC-awake. If these values were similar; this would validate our approach to the calculation of effect-site concentration. Sixty-five patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures were observed. Prior to disconnection from the breathing circuit, forward estimates of effect-site sevoflurane were recorded. Patients were observed in the post-anaesthesia care unit and the time at which they responded to command was recorded.Age-adjusted effect-site sevoflurane at the time of awakening was determined. Correlation with patient, surgical and anaesthetic factors including age, gender; ASA status and intraoperative opioid usage were explored. Mean age-adjusted calculated effect-site concentration at awakening was 0.59 (SD 0.27) vol%. This value is within the range of values determined for MAC-awake of sevoflurane. There was no correlation with any of the demographic or anaesthetic factors, but patients undergoing major surgery woke at a significantly lower mean sevoflurane level. These results support the use of effect-site sevoflurane concentration to guide administration of anaesthesia.

  2. Maternal prenatal stress is associated with the infant intestinal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Zijlmans, Maartje A C; Korpela, Katri; Riksen-Walraven, J Marianne; de Vos, Willem M; de Weerth, Carolina

    2015-03-01

    Maternal prenatal stress has been often associated with infant physical development and health, as well as psychological functioning and behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying these relations remain elusive. The goal of the present study was to prospectively investigate the development of the intestinal microbiota as a potential pathway linking maternal prenatal stress and infant health. The development of the infant intestinal microbiota was followed over the first 110 days after birth in a healthy cohort of 56 vaginally born Dutch infants. Additionally, the relation between infant intestinal microbiota and gastrointestinal and allergic symptoms was examined. Results showed that maternal prenatal stress, i.e., either reported stress or elevated basal maternal salivary cortisol concentrations or both, was strongly and persistently associated with the infants' microbiota composition as determined by a phylogenetic microarray. Infants of mothers with high cumulative stress (i.e., high reported stress and high cortisol concentrations) during pregnancy had significantly higher relative abundances of Proteobacterial groups known to contain pathogens (related to Escherichia, Serratia, and Enterobacter), and lower relative abundances of lactic acid bacteria (i.e., Lactobacillus, Lactoccus, Aerococcus) and Bifidobacteria, altogether characteristics of a potentially increased level of inflammation. Furthermore, this aberrant colonization pattern was related to more maternally reported infant gastrointestinal symptoms and allergic reactions. In conclusion, clear links were found between maternal prenatal stress and the infant intestinal microbiota and health. Although causality cannot be concluded, the results suggest a possible mechanism by which maternal prenatal stress influences the offspring development. These results suggest a potential for bacterial interventions to enhance offspring health and development in pregnant women with stress.

  3. Maternal parenting predicts infant biobehavioral regulation among women with a history of childhood maltreatment.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Torteya, Cecilia; Dayton, Carolyn J; Beeghly, Marjorie; Seng, Julia S; McGinnis, Ellen; Broderick, Amanda; Rosenblum, Katherine; Muzik, Maria

    2014-05-01

    Early biobehavioral regulation, a major influence of later adaptation, develops through dyadic interactions with caregivers. Thus, identification of maternal characteristics that can ameliorate or exacerbate infants' innate vulnerabilities is key for infant well-being and long-term healthy development. The present study evaluated the influence of maternal parenting, postpartum psychopathology, history of childhood maltreatment, and demographic risk on infant behavioral and physiological (i.e., salivary cortisol) regulation using the still-face paradigm. Our sample included 153 women with high rates of childhood maltreatment experiences. Mother-infant dyads completed a multimethod assessment at 7 months of age. Structural equation modeling showed that maternal positive (i.e., sensitive, warm, engaged, and joyful) and negative (i.e., overcontrolling and hostile) behaviors during interactions were associated with concurrent maternal depressive symptoms, single parent status, and low family income. In turn, positive parenting predicted improved infant behavioral regulation (i.e., positive affect and social behaviors following the stressor) and decreased cortisol reactivity (i.e., posttask levels that were similar to or lower than baseline cortisol). These findings suggest increased risk for those women experiencing high levels of depressive symptoms postpartum and highlight the importance of maternal positive interactive behaviors during the first year for children's neurodevelopment.

  4. Characterizing Early Maternal Style in a Population of Guide Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Bray, Emily E.; Sammel, Mary D.; Cheney, Dorothy L.; Serpell, James A.; Seyfarth, Robert M.

    2017-01-01

    In both humans and non-humans, differences in maternal style during the first few weeks of life can be reliably characterized, and these differences affect offspring's temperament and cognition in later life. Drawing on the breeding population of dogs at The Seeing Eye, a guide dog school in Morristown, New Jersey, we conducted videotaped focal follows on 21 mothers and their litters (n = 138 puppies) over the first 3 weeks of the puppies' lives in an effort to characterize maternal style. We found that a mother's attitude and actions toward her offspring varied naturally between individuals, and that these variations could be summarized by a single principal component, which we described as Maternal behavior. This component was stable across weeks, associated with breed, litter size, and parity, but not redundant with these attributes. Furthermore, this component was significantly associated with an independent experimental measure of maternal behavior, and with maternal stress as measured by salivary cortisol. In summary, Maternal behavior captured a significant proportion of the variation in maternal style; was stable over time; and had both discriminant and predictive validity. PMID:28239365

  5. CSF cortisol in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Popp, Julius; Schaper, Karsten; Kölsch, Heike; Cvetanovska, Gabriela; Rommel, Fatima; Klingmüller, Dietrich; Dodel, Richard; Wüllner, Ullrich; Jessen, Frank

    2009-03-01

    Hypercortisolaemia occurs in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may be involved in the AD related neurodegenerative process. In order to determine whether brain structures are exposed to high cortisol concentrations early in AD, we measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cortisol in 66 subjects with AD, 33 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 34 control subjects. CSF cortisol concentrations were higher in AD subjects compared to controls (p<0.001) and to MCI subjects (p=0.002). There was no significant increase of cortisol in MCI subjects compared with controls suggesting that the increase of CSF cortisol is not an early event in the course of AD.

  6. Corticospinal excitability and sleep: a motor threshold assessment by transcranial magnetic stimulation after awakenings from REM and NREM sleep.

    PubMed

    Bertini, Mario; Ferrara, Michele; De Gennaro, Luigi; Curcio, Giuseppe; Fratello, Fabiana; Romei, Vincenzo; Pauri, Flavia; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2004-03-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a recently established technique in the neurosciences that allows the non-invasive assessment, among other parameters, of the excitability of motor cortex. Up to now, its application to sleep research has been very scarce and because of technical problems it provided contrasting results. In fact delivering one single suprathreshold magnetic stimulus easily awakes subjects, or lightens their sleep. For this reason, in the present study we assessed motor thresholds (MTs) upon rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep awakenings, both in the first and in the last part of the night. Taking into account that a full re-establishment of wake regional brain activity patterns upon awakening from sleep needs up to 20-30 min, it is possible to make inferences about the neurophysiological characteristics of the different sleep stages by analyzing the variables of interest immediately after provoked awakenings. Ten female volunteers slept in the lab for four consecutive nights. During the first night the MTs were collected, following a standardized procedure: 5 min before lights off, upon stage 2 awakening (second NREM period), upon REM sleep awakening (second REM period), upon the final morning awakening (always from stage 2). Results showed that MTs increased linearly from presleep wakefulness to REM sleep awakenings, and from the latter to stage 2 awakenings. There was also a time-of-night effect on MTs upon awakening from stage 2, indicating that MTs decreased from the first to the second part of the night. The increase in corticospinal excitability across the night, which parallels the fulfillment of sleep need, is consistent with the linear decrease of auditory arousal thresholds during the night. The maximal reduction of corticospinal excitability during early NREM sleep can be related to the hyperpolarization of thalamocortical neurons, and is in line with the decreased metabolic activity of motor

  7. Cortisol Response to Embarrassment and Shame.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Michael; Ramsay, Douglas

    2002-01-01

    This study examined individual differences in 4-year-old children's expression of the self-conscious emotions of embarrassment and shame and their relation to differences in cortisol response to stress. Results indicated the presence of two different types of embarrassment--one that reflected negative evaluation of the self, and the other a…

  8. Cortisol extraction through human skin by reverse iontophoresis.

    PubMed

    Ventura, Stephanie A; Heikenfeld, Jason; Brooks, Tiffany; Esfandiari, Leyla; Boyce, Steven; Park, Yoonjee; Kasting, Gerald B

    2017-04-01

    Continuous monitoring of cortisol at the surface of the skin would advance the diagnosis and treatment of cortisol-related diseases, or of elevated cortisol levels related to stress in otherwise healthy populations. Reliable and accurate detection of cortisol at the skin surface remains a limiting factor in real-time monitoring of cortisol. To address this limitation, cortisol extraction through excised human skin by reverse iontophoresis was studied in vitro in side-by-side diffusion cells using a radiolabeled probe. The skin was subjected to four direct current regimens (0, 28, 56, 113μAcm(-2)) with the anode in the donor chamber and the cumulative cortisol concentrations recorded in the receiver chamber. The 56 and 113μAcm(-2) regimens significantly increased transport of (3)H-cortisol through the skin, and current density correlated directly with transcutaneous transport of (3)H-cortisol. The threshold of detection of electroosmotic versus passive diffusion of cortisol through the skin was between 28 and 56μAcm(-2). The results of this study are significant in examining how lipophilic analytes found in the bloodstream respond to reverse iontophoresis across the skin. In addition, a device integration technique is presented which illustrates how continuous cortisol extraction and sensing could potentially be achieved in a conventional wearable format.

  9. Accelerated trace eyeblink conditioning after cortisol IV-infusion.

    PubMed

    Kuehl, Linn K; Lass-Hennemann, Johanna; Richter, Steffen; Blumenthal, Terry D; Oitzl, Melly; Schachinger, Hartmut

    2010-11-01

    Impairing effects of cortisol on learning performance have been shown in human trace eyeblink conditioning. As the effect is observed from 30 min to hours after administration, a genomic action of cortisol is assumed. Here we report rapid cortisol effects that were observed during the first 10 min after cortisol administration in humans. Young healthy males (n=24) received the cortisol synthesis inhibitor metyrapone (1.5 g per os) to avoid interference of the endogenous pulsatile secretion of cortisol. Next, 2mg cortisol or placebo was infused intravenously, immediately before the trace conditioning task. The probability of the conditioned eyeblink responses was assessed electromyographically during the trace eyeblink conditioning task (unconditioned stimulus: corneal air puff, 10 psi, 50 ms; conditioned stimulus: binaural pure tone, 7 dB, 1000 Hz, 400 ms; empty interval between CS and US: 550 ms). Cortisol resulted in a faster increase of conditioning (p=.02), reaching a comparable level to placebo later on. This result extends the well-known effects of stress on the quality and amount of learning by showing that cortisol also affects the speed of learning. We propose that cortisol accelerates trace eyeblink conditioning via a fast, non-genomic mechanism. This fast action of cortisol is part of the adaptive strategy during the early stress response.

  10. Antenatal maternal stress and long-term effects on child neurodevelopment: how and why?

    PubMed

    Talge, Nicole M; Neal, Charles; Glover, Vivette

    2007-01-01

    We review a significant body of evidence from independent prospective studies that if a mother is stressed while pregnant, her child is substantially more likely to have emotional or cognitive problems, including an increased risk of attentional deficit/hyperactivity, anxiety, and language delay. These findings are independent of effects due to maternal postnatal depression and anxiety. We still do not know what forms of anxiety or stress are most detrimental, but research suggests that the relationship with the partner can be important in this respect. The magnitude of these effects is clinically significant, as the attributable load of emotional/behavioral problems due to antenatal stress and/or anxiety is approximately 15%. Animal models suggest that activity of the stress-responsive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its hormonal end-product cortisol are involved in these effects in both mother and offspring. The fetal environment can be altered if stress in the mother changes her hormonal profile, and in humans, there is a strong correlation between maternal and fetal cortisol levels. However, many problems remain in understanding the mechanisms involved in this interaction. For example, maternal cortisol responses to stress decline over the course of pregnancy, and earlier in pregnancy, the link between maternal and fetal cortisol is less robust. It is possible that the effects of maternal anxiety and stress on the developing fetus and child are moderated by other factors such as a maternal diet (e.g., protein load). It is suggested that extra vigilance or anxiety, readily distracted attention, or a hyper-responsive HPA axis may have been adaptive in a stressful environment during evolution, but exists today at the cost of vulnerability to neurodevelopmental disorders.

  11. Placental corticotropin-releasing hormone may be a stimulator of maternal pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, A; Shinkawa, O; Yoshinaga, K

    1989-01-01

    To clarify the physiological role of placental corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), we measured plasma CRH, ACTH, and cortisol throughout pregnancy. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CRH levels and ACTH responsiveness to synthetic CRH were also quantified in pregnant and nonpregnant women. Maternal plasma CRH levels, which increased progressively during pregnancy, correlated well with both ACTH and cortisol in early labor, delivery, and postpartum samples, and also with cortisol levels in samples before labor. CSF CRH levels in term pregnant women did not differ from those of nonpregnant women. CRH infusion that attained similar plasma CRH levels to those found in late pregnancy elicited significant ACTH release in vivo and regular CRH test provoked normal ACTH response during early pregnancy but no response during late pregnancy. We concluded that: (a) maternal pituitary-adrenal axis correlates well with plasma CRH levels, which are high enough to provoke ACTH release from maternal pituitary; (b) hypothalamic CRH secretion in term pregnant women is not exaggerated; and (c) maternal pituitary is responsive to synthetic CRH in early but not late pregnancy, suggesting that maternal pituitary-adrenal axis is already activated by high circulating CRH. Placental CRH may be an important stimulator of the maternal pituitary-adrenal axis during pregnancy. Images PMID:2556451

  12. Changes in the concentrations of four maternal steroids during embryonic development in the threespined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    PubMed

    Paitz, Ryan Thomas; Mommer, Brett Christian; Suhr, Elissa; Bell, Alison Marie

    2015-08-01

    Embryonic exposure to steroids often leads to long-term phenotypic effects. It has been hypothesized that mothers may be able to create a steroid environment that adjusts the phenotypes of offspring to current environmental conditions. Complicating this hypothesis is the potential for developing embryos to modulate their early endocrine environment. This study utilized the threespined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) to characterize the early endocrine environment within eggs by measuring four steroids (progesterone, testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol) of maternal origin. We then examined how the concentrations of these four steroids changed over the first 12 days post fertilization (dpf). Progesterone, testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol of maternal origin could be detected within unfertilized eggs and levels of all four steroids declined in the first 3 days following fertilization. While levels of progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol remained low after the initial decline, levels of cortisol rose again by 8 dpf. These results demonstrate that G. aculeatus embryos begin development in the presence of a number of maternal steroids but levels begin to change quickly following fertilization. This suggests that embryonic processes change the early endocrine environment and hence influence the ability of maternal steroids to affect development. With these findings, G. aculeatus becomes an intriguing system in which to study how selection may act on both maternal and embryonic processes to shape the evolutionary consequence of steroid-mediated maternal effects.

  13. The Dynamics of Cortical Neuronal Activity in the First Minutes after Spontaneous Awakening in Rats and Mice

    PubMed Central

    Vyazovskiy, Vladyslav V.; Cui, Nanyi; Rodriguez, Alexander V.; Funk, Chadd; Cirelli, Chiara; Tononi, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    Study Objective: Upon awakening from sleep, a fully awake brain state is not reestablished immediately, but the origin and physiological properties of the distinct brain state during the first min after awakening are unclear. To investigate whether neuronal firing immediately upon arousal is different from the remaining part of the waking episode, we recorded and analyzed the dynamics of cortical neuronal activity in the first 15 min after spontaneous awakenings in freely moving rats and mice. Design: Intracortical recordings of the local field potential and neuronal activity in freely-moving mice and rats. Setting: Basic sleep research laboratory. Patients or Participants: WKY adult male rats, C57BL/6 adult male mice. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: In both species the average population spiking activity upon arousal was initially low, though substantial variability in the dynamics of firing activity was apparent between individual neurons. A distinct population of neurons was found that was virtually silent in the first min upon awakening. The overall lower population spiking initially after awakening was associated with the occurrence of brief periods of generalized neuronal silence (OFF periods), whose frequency peaked immediately after awakening and then progressively declined. OFF periods incidence upon awakening was independent of ongoing locomotor activity but was sensitive to immediate preceding sleep/wake history. Notably, in both rats and mice if sleep before a waking episode was enriched in rapid eye movement sleep, the incidence of OFF periods was initially higher as compared to those waking episodes preceded mainly by nonrapid eye movement sleep. Conclusion: We speculate that an intrusion of sleep-like patterns of cortical neuronal activity into the wake state immediately after awakening may account for some of the changes in the behavior and cognitive function typical of what is referred to as sleep inertia. Citation: Vyazovskiy VV, Cui

  14. Cortisol elimination from plasma in premenopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Rovensky, J; Imrich, R; Koska, J; Kovalancik, M; Killinger, Z; Payer, J; Vigas, M; Jezova, D

    2003-01-01

    Methods: Twelve premenopausal female patients with RA (39.8 (1.8) years) and nine healthy control women matched for age and body mass index (42 (3.3) years) were enrolled in the study. None of the patients had previously been receiving treatment with glucocorticoids. After dexamethasone suppression (2 mg by mouth) the evening before the study, 20 mg of hydrocortisone was given. Blood and saliva samples were drawn six hours after injection of hydrocortisone. Plasma and salivary cortisol were measured. Results: Dexamethasone administration suppressed plasma cortisol concentrations to an almost undetectable level in all subjects, except one with RA. In this subject, a raised concentration of plasma cortisol was verified by repeated analysis despite the fact that cortisol concentration in the saliva sample measured simultaneously was not raised. No significant difference in the disappearance curve of cortisol in plasma or in salivary cortisol levels was found between the patients with RA and the healthy controls. Conclusions: The profile of disappearance of total cortisol from plasma, and salivary cortisol levels during the elimination phase after its intravenous administration, are unchanged in premenopausal women with RA. Alterations in cortisol clearance are not likely to have a role in cortisol availability in patients with RA. PMID:12810434

  15. Awakening arterial blood and end-tidal concentrations of isoflurane in female surgical patients

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Tso-Chou; Lu, Chih-Cherng; Hsu, Che-Hao; Pergolizz, Joseph V.; Chang, Cheng-Chang; Lee, Meei-Shyuan; Ho, Shung-Tai

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Delayed extubation occurs after isoflurane anesthesia, especially following prolonged surgical duration. We aimed to determine the arterial blood concentrations of isoflurane and the correlation with end-tidal concentrations for predicting emergence from general anesthesia. Thirty-four American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status class I–II gynecologic patients were included. General anesthesia was maintained with a fixed 2% inspiratory isoflurane in 6 L/minute oxygen, which was discontinued after surgery. One milliliter of arterial blood was obtained for the determination of isoflurane concentration by gas chromatography at 20 and 10 minutes before and 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes after discontinuation, in addition to the time of eye opening to verbal command, defined as awakening. Inspiratory and end-tidal concentrations were simultaneously detected by an infrared analyzer. The mean awakening arterial blood concentration of isoflurane was 0.20%, which was lower than the simultaneous end-tidal concentration 0.23%. The differences between arterial and end-tidal concentrations during emergence fell into an acceptable range (±1.96 standard deviation). After receiving a mean time of 108-minute general anesthesia, the time to eye opening after discontinuing isoflurane was 18.5 minutes (range 11–30, median 18 minutes), without statistical significance with anesthesia duration (P = 0.078) and body mass index (P = 0.170). We demonstrated the awakening arterial blood concentration of isoflurane in female patients as 0.20%. With well-assisted ventilation, the end-tidal concentration could be an indicator for the arterial blood concentration to predict emergence from shorter duration of isoflurane anesthesia. PMID:27472727

  16. Nocturnal Hot Flashes: Relationship to Objective Awakenings and Sleep Stage Transitions

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, Matt T.; Kim, Semmie; Galvan, Thania; White, David P.; Joffe, Hadine

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: While women report sleep interruption secondary to nighttime hot flashes, the sleep disrupting impact of nocturnal hot flashes (HF) is not well characterized. We utilized a model of induced HF to investigate the relationship of nighttime HF to sleep architecture and sleep-stage transitions. Methods: Twenty-eight healthy, premenopausal volunteers received the depot gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) leuprolide to rapidly induce menopause, manifesting with HF. Sleep disruption was measured on 2 polysomnograms conducted before and after 4–5 weeks on leuprolide, when HF had developed. Results: 165 HF episodes were recorded objectively during 48 sleep studies (mean 3.4 HF/night). After standardizing to sleep-stage time distribution, the majority of HF were recorded during wake (51.0%) and stage N1 (18.8%). Sixty-six percent of HF occurred within 5 minutes of an awakening, with 80% occurring just before or during the awakening. Objective HF were not associated with sleep disruption as measured by increased transitions to wake or N1, but self-reported nocturnal HF correlated with an increase from pre- to post-leuprolide in the rate of transitions to wake (p = 0.01), and to N1 (p = 0.008). Conclusions: By isolating the effect of HF on sleep in women without the confound of age-related sleep changes associated with natural menopause, this experimental model shows that HF arise most commonly during N1 and wake, typically preceding or occurring simultaneously with wake episodes. Perception of HF, but not objective HF, is linked to increased sleep-stage transitions, suggesting that sleep disruption increases awareness of and memory for nighttime HF events. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01116401. Citation: Bianchi MT, Kim S, Galvan T, White DP, Joffe H. Nocturnal hot flashes: relationship to objective awakenings and sleep stage transitions. J Clin Sleep Med 2016;12(7):1003–1009. PMID:26951410

  17. Hair cortisol measurement in mitotane-treated adrenocortical cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Manenschijn, L; Quinkler, M; van Rossum, E F C

    2014-04-01

    The only approved drug for the treatment of adrenocortical cancer (ACC) is mitotane. Mitotane is adrenolytic and therefore, hydrocortisone replacement therapy is necessary. Since mitotane increases cortisol binding globulin (CBG) and induces CYP3A4 activity, high doses of hydrocortisone are thought to be required. Evaluation of hydrocortisone therapy in mitotane-treated patients has been difficult since there is no good marker to evaluate hydrocortisone therapy. Measurement of cortisol in scalp hair is a novel method that offers the opportunity to measure long-term cortisol levels. Our aim was to evaluate whether hair cortisol measurements could be useful in evaluating recent hydrocortisone treatment in mitotane-treated ACC patients. Hair cortisol levels were measured in 15 mitotane-treated ACC patients on hydrocortisone substitution and 96 healthy individuals. Cortisol levels were measured in 3 cm hair segments, corresponding to a period of 3 months. Hair cortisol levels were higher in ACC patients compared to healthy individuals (p<0.0001). Seven ACC patients (47%) had hair cortisol levels above the reference range. None of the patients had hair cortisol levels below normal. In contrast to hydrocortisone doses (β=0.03, p=0.93), hair cortisol levels were associated with BMI (β=0.53, p=0.042). There was no correlation between hair cortisol levels and hydrocortisone doses (β=0.41, p=0.13). Almost half of the ACC patients had high hair cortisol levels, suggesting long-term over-substitution of hydrocortisone in some of the patients, whereas none of the patients was under-substituted. Hair cortisol measurements might be useful in long-term monitoring hydrocortisone treatment in mitotane-treated ACC patients.

  18. Cortisol and Treatment Effect in Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders: A Preliminary Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van de Wiel, Nicolle M.H.; van Goozen, Stephanie H.M.; Matthys, Walter; Snoek, Heddeke; van Engeland, Herman

    2004-01-01

    Objective: Basal cortisol and cortisol stress responsivity are valuable biological characteristics of children with disruptive behavior disorder (DBD). In this study, the predictive value of cortisol to outcome of intervention was investigated. Method: Basal cortisol levels and cortisol levels under stress were studied in 22 children with DBD…

  19. Huggable communication medium decreases cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    Sumioka, Hidenobu; Nakae, Aya; Kanai, Ryota; Ishiguro, Hiroshi

    2013-10-23

    Interpersonal touch is a fundamental component of social interactions because it can mitigate physical and psychological distress. To reproduce the psychological and physiological effects associated with interpersonal touch, interest is growing in introducing tactile sensations to communication devices. However, it remains unknown whether physical contact with such devices can produce objectively measurable endocrine effects like real interpersonal touching can. We directly tested this possibility by examining changes in stress hormone cortisol before and after a conversation with a huggable communication device. Participants had 15-minute conversations with a remote partner that was carried out either with a huggable human-shaped device or with a mobile phone. Our experiment revealed significant reduction in the cortisol levels for those who had conversations with the huggable device. Our approach to evaluate communication media with biological markers suggests new design directions for interpersonal communication media to improve social support systems in modern highly networked societies.

  20. The role of anxiety in cortisol stress response and cortisol recovery in boys with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder.

    PubMed

    Schoorl, Jantiene; Rijn, Sophie van; Wied, Minet de; van Goozen, Stephanie; Swaab, Hanna

    2016-11-01

    Children with antisocial and aggressive behaviors have been found to show abnormal neurobiological responses to stress, specifically impaired cortisol stress reactivity. The role of individual characteristics, such as comorbid anxiety, in the stress response is far less studied. Furthermore, this study extended previous studies in that not only baseline and reactivity to a psychosocial stressor were examined, but also recovery from a stressor. These three phases of cortisol could be impacted differentially in boys with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) with (+ANX) and without anxiety (-ANX). The results revealed that cortisol patterns in response to psychosocial stress were different for boys with ODD/CD+ANX (n=32), ODD/CD-ANX (n=22) and non-clinical controls (NC) (n=34), with age range of 7.8-12.9 years. The ODD/CD-ANX group showed lower overall cortisol levels than the NC group. When considering the three phases of cortisol separately, the ODD/CD-ANX group had lower baseline cortisol levels relative to the other groups, whereas the ODD/CD+ANX showed an impaired cortisol recovery response. Within those with ODD/CD, callous-unemotional traits were predictive of high baseline cortisol levels. Also, anxiety predicted high baseline and recovery cortisol levels, whereas a high number of CD symptoms predicted reduced cortisol stress reactivity. These results clearly indicate that comorbid anxiety is an important factor in explaining differences in stress response profiles in boys with ODD/CD; although boys with CD/ODD are generally characterized by an impaired cortisol stress response, we found that those with comorbid anxiety showed impaired cortisol recovery, whereas those without anxiety showed reduced baseline cortisol levels.

  1. Gains in fluid ability performance and their relationship to cortisol.

    PubMed

    Kelly, K S; Hayslip, B

    2000-01-01

    The present analyses examined the relationship between cortisol and performance gains in crystallized (Gc) and fluid (Gf) ability, as well as the relationship to measures of everyday cognitive functioning in a sample of 73 older adults. The analyses were part of a larger study examining the impact of anxiety-reduction training on everyday tasks. Cortisol was assessed via urine sampling. Results indicated that there was a significant negative correlation between cortisol and performance gains for Gf, replicating earlier findings reported by our laboratory. These findings also extend the relationship to cortisol measured in urine; previous analyses were conducted using serum-based cortisol. Cortisol was also significantly related to performance gains in some measures of everyday cognitive functioning.

  2. Dissociated neural effects of cortisol depending on threat escapability.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Estrella R; van Honk, Jack; Bos, Peter A; Terburg, David

    2015-11-01

    Evolution has provided us with a highly flexible neuroendocrine threat system which, depending on threat imminence, switches between active escape and passive freezing. Cortisol, the "stress-hormone", is thought to play an important role in both fear behaviors, but the exact mechanisms are not understood. Using pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging we investigated how cortisol modulates the brain's fear systems when humans are under virtual-predator attack. We show dissociated neural effects of cortisol depending on whether escape from threat is possible. During inescapable threat cortisol reduces fear-related midbrain activity, whereas in anticipation of active escape cortisol boosts activity in the frontal salience network (insula and anterior cingulate cortex), which is involved in autonomic control, visceral perception and motivated action. Our findings suggest that cortisol adjusts the human neural threat system from passive fear to active escape, which illuminates the hormone's crucial role in the adaptive flexibility of fear behaviors.

  3. Rude awakenings.

    PubMed

    Blum, L A; Hunt, D W; Hanks, J; Nordberg, M; Goldstein, S N; Spiro, D C; Ludwig, G G

    1995-05-01

    A new nurse recently complained in a national nursing publication that her manager, a 22-year veteran, refers to her staff as"dodos," "dipsticks" and "resident idiots." The vexed grad wanted to know whether she had to put up with this verbal abuse. It's amazing that she even had to ask. The Los Angeles Times reports that rudeness is epidemic in America, as "embedded in the workplace culture as time cards, fluorescent lighting and computers." EMTs and paramedics are prime targets. You endure it from patients, their families, bystanders, coworkers, managers, ED staffers and cops. You no doubt take a deep breath, hold your tongue and prepare to move on to the next call. But what if you're mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore? On the following pages, experts share their experiences and offer communication strategies. So, hurry up! Turn the page! (Oops. We apologize for being rude...)

  4. An optimization formulation for characterization of pulsatile cortisol secretion.

    PubMed

    Faghih, Rose T; Dahleh, Munther A; Brown, Emery N

    2015-01-01

    Cortisol is released to relay information to cells to regulate metabolism and reaction to stress and inflammation. In particular, cortisol is released in the form of pulsatile signals. This low-energy method of signaling seems to be more efficient than continuous signaling. We hypothesize that there is a controller in the anterior pituitary that leads to pulsatile release of cortisol, and propose a mathematical formulation for such controller, which leads to impulse control as opposed to continuous control. We postulate that this controller is minimizing the number of secretory events that result in cortisol secretion, which is a way of minimizing the energy required for cortisol secretion; this controller maintains the blood cortisol levels within a specific circadian range while complying with the first order dynamics underlying cortisol secretion. We use an ℓ0-norm cost function for this controller, and solve a reweighed ℓ1-norm minimization algorithm for obtaining the solution to this optimization problem. We use four examples to illustrate the performance of this approach: (i) a toy problem that achieves impulse control, (ii) two examples that achieve physiologically plausible pulsatile cortisol release, (iii) an example where the number of pulses is not within the physiologically plausible range for healthy subjects while the cortisol levels are within the desired range. This novel approach results in impulse control where the impulses and the obtained blood cortisol levels have a circadian rhythm and an ultradian rhythm that are in agreement with the known physiology of cortisol secretion. The proposed formulation is a first step in developing intermittent controllers for curing cortisol deficiency. This type of bio-inspired pulse controllers can be employed for designing non-continuous controllers in brain-machine interface design for neuroscience applications.

  5. Daily variations in cortisol levels and binge eating disorder.

    PubMed

    Sitton, Sarah; Porn, Patricia M; Shaeffer, Stephanie

    2002-12-01

    Morning and afternoon levels of cortisol for 73 volunteers (67 women and 6 men) were compared in relation to their Binge Eating Disorder scores, Body Mass Indexes, and self-reports of mood and hunger. Cortisol level was not significantly correlated with binge eating or mood or hunger for either time period. However, it was inversely related to body mass, with lower cortisol levels associated with greater body mass.

  6. Circadian and sleep episode duration influences on cognitive performance following the process of awakening.

    PubMed

    Matchock, Robert L

    2010-01-01

    The process of waking up from an episode of sleep can produce temporary deficits in cognitive functioning and low levels of alertness and vigilance, a process referred to as sleep inertia. Cognitive ability varies as a function of time-of-day; cognitive ability associated with sleep inertia also shows circadian influences with deleterious effects most pronounced when awakened from biological night, possibly paralleling the core body temperature minimum. The length of the sleep episode may contribute to the severity of sleep inertia. Short sleep episodes (<20 min) produce little cognitive impairment, probably because of a lack of slow-wave sleep in the sleep episode. With longer sleep episodes, aspects of sleep depth such as percentage of slow-wave sleep or total length of the sleep episode may be important. Finally, myriad tasks have been used to measure sleep inertia effects, and cognitive deficits associated with waking up have been demonstrated on both simple and complex tasks for both speed and accuracy. More research is needed on how the type of task may interact with sleep inertia. Tests that measure known specific aspects of cognition and that can be mapped to brain systems and neurotransmitters (e.g., the Attentional Network Test: ANT) are recommended to further understand how information processing during the process of awakening is distinct from other aspects of awareness.

  7. The impact of circadian phenotype and time since awakening on diurnal performance in athletes.

    PubMed

    Facer-Childs, Elise; Brandstaetter, Roland

    2015-02-16

    Circadian rhythms, among other factors, have been shown to regulate key physiological processes involved in athletic performance. Personal best performance of athletes in the evening was confirmed across different sports. Contrary to this view, we identified peak performance times in athletes to be different between human "larks" and "owls" (also called "morningness/eveningness types" or "chronotypes" and referred to as circadian phenotypes in this paper), i.e., individuals with well-documented genetic and physiological differences that result in disparities between their biological clocks and how they entrain to exogenous cues, such as the environmental light/dark cycle and social factors. We found time since entrained awakening to be the major predictor of peak performance times, rather than time of day, as well as significant individual performance variations as large as 26% in the course of a day. Our novel approach combining the use of an athlete-specific chronometric test, longitudinal circadian analysis, and physical performance tests to characterize relevant sleep/wake and performance parameters in athletes allows a comprehensive analysis of the link between the circadian system and diurnal performance variation. We establish that the evaluation of an athlete's personal best performance requires consideration of circadian phenotype, performance evaluation at different times of day, and analysis of performance as a function of time since entrained awakening.

  8. Accelerated long-term forgetting in aging and intra-sleep awakenings.

    PubMed

    Mary, Alison; Schreiner, Svenia; Peigneux, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The architecture of sleep and the functional neuroanatomical networks subtending memory consolidation processes are both modified with aging, possibly leading to accelerated forgetting in long-term memory. We investigated associative learning and declarative memory consolidation processes in 16 young (18-30 years) and 16 older (65-75 years) healthy adults. Performance was tested using a cued recall procedure at the end of learning (immediate recall), and 30 min and 7 days later. A delayed recognition test was also administered on day 7. Daily sleep diaries were completed during the entire experiment. Results revealed a similar percentage of correct responses at immediate and 30-min recall in young and older participants. However, recall was significantly decreased 7 days later, with an increased forgetting in older participants. Additionally, intra-sleep awakenings were more frequent in older participants than young adults during the seven nights, and were negatively correlated with delayed recall performance on day 7 in the older group. Altogether, our results suggest a decline in verbal declarative memory consolidation processes with aging, eventually leading to accelerated long-term forgetting indicating that increased sleep fragmentation due to more frequent intra-sleep awakenings in older participants contribute to the reported age-related decline in long-term memory retrieval. Our results highlight the sensitivity of long-term forgetting measures to evidence consolidation deficits in healthy aging.

  9. Association Between Feeling Upon Awakening and Use of Information Technology Devices in Japanese Children

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Yusuke; Tanabe, Tsuyoshi; Kobayashi-Miura, Mikiko; Amano, Hiroki; Yamaguchi, Natsu; Kamura, Masanori; Fujita, Yasuyuki

    2012-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between feeling upon awakening (FA) and time spent using information technology (IT) devices by children in kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in Shimane, Japan. Methods In October 2008, a self-report survey was distributed to 2075 children in kindergartens (n = 261), elementary schools (n = 1162), and junior high schools (n = 652) in Shimane, Japan. The questionnaire gathered data on sex, school year, feeling upon awakening, and time spent using IT devices after school (television, videos on television, video games, personal computers, and cellular phones). After adjusting for sex and school year, data were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression analysis to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results A total of 2030 children completed this survey (response rate, 97.8%). Negative FA was associated with watching television more than 2 hours/day (OR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.23–1.85), playing video games more than 30 minutes/day (1.50, 1.20–1.87), and using personal computers more than 30 minutes/day (1.35, 1.04–1.75). Conclusions Time spent using IT devices affected the FA of children in kindergarten through junior high school. We propose the development of guidelines regarding the appropriate amount of time this population should spend using IT devices. PMID:22041529

  10. Hair cortisol concentrations and cortisol stress reactivity in generalized anxiety disorder, major depression and their comorbidity.

    PubMed

    Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Wichmann, Susann; Stalder, Tobias; Hilbert, Kevin; Muehlhan, Markus; Lueken, Ulrike; Beesdo-Baum, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Studies investigating cortisol secretion in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have reported heterogeneous findings. Further, current knowledge on the specificity of endocrine changes for GAD and/or comorbid major depression (MD) is limited. Hence, the current study investigated long-term integrated cortisol secretion, as indexed by hair cortisol concentrations (HCC), and experimentally-induced cortisol stress reactivity in relation to GAD, MD and their comorbidity. Carefully characterized groups of 17 GAD patients including 8 with comorbid MD (GAD-MD), 12 MD patients and 21 healthy controls were recruited. Alongside psychometric data, HCC (N = 43) and salivary cortisol stress reactivity in response to the Trier Social Stress Test (N = 45) were determined. Findings revealed that MD patients exhibited lower HCC compared to controls and GAD patients, with no differences between the latter two groups. Interestingly, when the GAD group was separated into two groups based on MD comorbidity, lower HCC in MD patients were found compared to controls and GAD-noMD patients, but did not show differences when compared to GAD-MD patients. No HCC differences were seen between GAD-MD or GAD-noMD patients and healthy controls. No TSST group differences emerged. Our findings suggest MD to be related to long-term attenuation in cortisol secretion. While no group differences emerged between patients with GAD, neither with nor without MD, and controls, the current results provide tentative evidence that MD determines long-term endocrine changes, with pure GAD showing a distinct pattern. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings in larger samples of pure and comorbid groups.

  11. Use of Salivary Cortisol Measurements in Young Infants: A Note of Caution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magnano, Catherine L.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Findings indicate that high cortisol levels and interfering substances in formula and breast milk could contaminate salivary cortisol measurements in young infants. To insure accurate results, appropriate controls should be taken for salivary cortisol measurements of young infants. (RH)

  12. A piezoelectric immunosensor for the detection of cortisol.

    PubMed

    Attili, B S; Suleiman, A A

    1995-01-01

    A piezoelectric crystal immunosensor has been developed for the detection and determination of cortisol. Cortisol antibody was layered onto the gold electrodes of a 10 MHz piezoelectric crystal which was pre-coated with either protein A or gluteraldehyde. Crystals pre-coated with protein A showed the best results with respect to stability and sensitivity. The sensor was successfully used for the determination of cortisol in standard solutions from 36-3628 micrograms/L (part per billion). The advantages of the proposed sensor include simplicity, short analysis time, cost effectiveness and selectivity. The results demonstrate the feasibility of cortisol assay in clinical testing and in drug monitoring.

  13. Cortisol levels in hair of East Greenland polar bears.

    PubMed

    Bechshøft, T Ø; Sonne, C; Dietz, R; Born, E W; Novak, M A; Henchey, E; Meyer, J S

    2011-01-15

    To demonstrate the ability to assess long-term hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity in polar bears (Ursus maritimus), a pilot study was conducted in which cortisol concentrations was analyzed in hair from 7 female (3-19 years) and 10 male (6-19 years) East Greenland polar bears sampled in 1994-2006. The hair was chosen as matrix as it is non-invasive, seasonally harmonized, and has been validated as an index of long-term changes in cortisol levels. The samples were categorized according to contamination: eight were clean (2 females, 6 males), 5 had been contaminated with bear blood (2 F, 3 M), and 4 with bear fat (3 F, 1 M). There was no significant difference in cortisol concentration between the three categories after external contamination was removed. However, contaminated hair samples should be cleaned before cortisol determination. Average hair cortisol concentration was 8.90 pg/mg (range: 5.5 to 16.4 pg/mg). There was no significant correlation between cortisol concentration and age (p=0.81) or sampling year (p=0.11). However, females had higher mean cortisol concentration than males (females mean: 11.0 pg/mg, males: 7.3 pg/mg; p=0.01). The study showed that polar bear hair contains measurable amounts of cortisol and that cortisol in hair may be used in studies of long-term stress in polar bears.

  14. Born to yawn? Cortisol linked to yawning: a new hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Simon B N

    2011-11-01

    Yawning has become an interesting and curious scientific conundrum. Links between several neurological disorders can be found through the commonality of yawning episodes and contagious yawning. However, the reasons why we yawn are uncertain. Cortisol levels are known to rise during stress and fatigue; yawning may occur when we are under stress or tired. We do not know whether cortisol levels fluctuate during yawning. Potentially, yawning and cortisol levels may provide a valuable diagnostic tool and warning of untoward underlying neurological problems. A new hypothesis is proposed that links cortisol levels with yawning episodes.

  15. Alteration of cartilage glycosaminoglycan protein acceptor by somatomedin and cortisol.

    PubMed

    Kilgore, B S; McNatt, M L; Meador, S; Lee, J A; Hughes, E R; Elders, M J

    1979-02-01

    The effect of somatomedin and cortisol on embryonic chick cartilage in vitro indicates that somatomedin stimulates 35SO4 uptake while cortisol decreases it with no effect on glycosaminoglycan turnover. Xylosyltransferase activity is increased in crude fractions of somatomedin-treated cartilage but decreased in cortisol-treated cartilage. By using a Smith-degraded proteoglycan as an exogenous acceptor, xylosyltransferase activities from both treatments were equivalent, suggesting that the enzyme was not rate limiting. The results of xylosyltransferase assays conducted by mixing enzyme and endogenous acceptor from control, cortisol-treated and somatomedin-treated cartilage, suggest both effects to be at the level of the acceptor protein.

  16. Endocrine basis for disruptive effects of cortisol on preovulatory events.

    PubMed

    Breen, Kellie M; Billings, Heather J; Wagenmaker, Elizabeth R; Wessinger, Emily W; Karsch, Fred J

    2005-04-01

    Stress activates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis leading to enhanced glucocorticoid secretion and concurrently inhibits gonadotropin secretion and disrupts ovarian cyclicity. Here we tested the hypothesis that stress-like concentrations of cortisol interfere with follicular phase endocrine events of the ewe by suppressing pulsatile LH secretion, which is essential for subsequent steps in the preovulatory sequence. Cortisol was infused during the early to midfollicular phase, elevating plasma cortisol concentrations to one third, one half, or the maximal value induced by isolation, a commonly used model of psychosocial stress. All cortisol treatments compromised at least some aspect of reproductive hormone secretion in follicular phase ewes. First, cortisol significantly suppressed LH pulse frequency by as much as 35%, thus attenuating the high frequency LH pulses typical of the preovulatory period. Second, cortisol interfered with timely generation of the follicular phase estradiol rise, either preventing it or delaying the estradiol peak by as much as 20 h. Third, cortisol delayed or blocked the preovulatory LH and FSH surges. Collectively, our findings support the hypothesis that stress-like increments in plasma cortisol interfere with the follicular phase by suppressing the development of high frequency LH pulses, which compromises timely expression of the preovulatory estradiol rise and LH and FSH surges. Moreover, the suppression of LH pulse frequency provides indirect evidence that cortisol acts centrally to suppress pulsatile GnRH secretion in follicular-phase ewes.

  17. Hair cortisol and cognitive performance in working age adults.

    PubMed

    McLennan, Skye N; Ihle, Andreas; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kliegel, Matthias

    2016-05-01

    It has been hypothesized that prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels results in cognitive impairment. However, previous research into the relationship between cortisol and cognition has produced mixed results, most likely due to difficulties achieving valid estimates of long-term cortisol exposure based on salivary or plasma cortisol assessments at a single time point. Furthermore, there has been little research on the cognitive effects of long-term cortisol exposure in working-age adults. In the present study, hair samples were collected from 246 nurses (89.8% female) aged from 21 to 62 (M=42.0, SD=11.2). Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) in the proximal 3-cm hair segment were analyzed providing an estimate of integrated cortisol secretion over the 3 month-period prior to hair sampling. Cognition was measured using a battery of 15 neuropsychological tests, measuring core dimensions of memory, inductive reasoning, processing speed, crystalized intelligence and major aspects of executive functioning. HCC was not significantly related to any of the cognitive abilities measured, either before or after controlling for potential moderators such as age, sex, education, health, well-being, work ability and burnout. Tests for nonlinear relationships also yielded non-significant results. Thus, despite the study being well powered, long term cortisol exposure did not appear to be related to cognitive performance in this sample of working-age adults, suggesting that long term cortisol exposure may be less relevant to cognition in younger and middle-aged adults than was previously thought.

  18. Maternal anxiety, maternal sensitivity, and attachment.

    PubMed

    Stevenson-Hinde, Joan; Chicot, Rebecca; Shouldice, Anne; Hinde, Camilla A

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has related maternal anxiety to insecurity of attachment. Here we ask whether different aspects of maternal sensitivity mediate this link. From a community sample of intact families with 1-3 children, mothers with 4.5-year-olds were selected for low, medium, or high anxiety levels (N = 98). Following Mary Ainsworth's lead, our maternal sensitivity measures were primarily based on ratings of direct observations. Six sets of measures were obtained: positive maternal style at home (a mean of four different ratings); providing a sensitive framework, limit setting, allowing autonomy, criticizing/cutting in (each a mean over two laboratory joint tasks); and tension-making (a mean of three different ratings in a fear-inducing task). Regression analyses showed firstly that maternal anxiety rather than behavioral inhibition or sex of child was the significant predictor of each maternal sensitivity measure; and secondly that these measures rather than maternal anxiety or sex were the significant predictors of security of attachment. Finally, ANOVA's indicated which sets of maternal ratings were associated with each pattern of attachment (Avoidant, Secure, Ambivalent, or Controlling).

  19. Methodological Considerations for Hair Cortisol Measurements in Children

    PubMed Central

    Slominski, Radomir; Rovnaghi, Cynthia R.; Anand, Kanwaljeet J. S.

    2015-01-01

    Background Hair cortisol levels are used increasingly as a measure for chronic stress in young children. We propose modifications to the current methods used for hair cortisol analysis to more accurately determine reference ranges for hair cortisol across different populations and age groups. Methods The authors compared standard (finely cutting hair) vs. milled methods for hair processing (n=16), developed a 4-step extraction process for hair protein and cortisol (n=16), and compared liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS) vs. ELISA assays for measuring hair cortisol (n=28). The extraction process included sequential incubations in methanol and acetone, repeated twice. Hair protein was measured via spectrophotometric ratios at 260/280 nm to indicate the hair dissolution state using a BioTek® plate reader and dedicated software. Hair cortisol was measured using an ELISA assay kit. Individual (n=13), pooled hair samples (n=12) with high, intermediate, and low cortisol values and the ELISA assay internal standards (n=3) were also evaluated by LCMS. Results Milled and standard methods showed highly correlated hair cortisol (rs=0.951, p<0.0001) and protein values (rs=0.902, p=0.0002), although higher yields of cortisol and protein were obtained from the standard method in 13/16 and 14/16 samples respectively (p<0.05). Four sequential extractions yielded additional amounts of protein (36.5%, 27.5%, 30.5%, 3.1%) and cortisol (45.4%, 31.1%, 15.1%, 0.04%) from hair samples. Cortisol values measured by LCMS and ELISA were correlated (rs=0.737; p<0.0001), although cortisol levels (median [IQR]) detected in the same samples by LCMS (38.7 [14.4, 136] ng/ml) were lower than by ELISA (172.2 [67.9, 1051] ng/ml). LCMS also detected cortisone, which comprised 13.4% (3.7%, 25.9%) of the steroids detected. Conclusion Methodological studies suggest that finely cutting hair with sequential incubations in methanol and acetone, repeated twice, extracts greater yields of cortisol

  20. Effects of maternal stress on egg characteristics in a cooperatively breeding fish.

    PubMed

    Mileva, Viktoria R; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Balshine, Sigal

    2011-01-01

    Elevated stress experienced by a mother can compromise both her own reproductive success and that of her offspring. In this study, we investigated whether chronically stressed mothers experienced such effects in cooperatively breeding species, in which helpers at the nest potentially compound the negative effects of maternal stress. Using Neolamprologus pulcher, a group-living cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika, we observed the effects of experimentally increased stress on female reproductive success (measured as inter-spawn interval, and number of eggs) as well as egg characteristics including egg size and cortisol concentrations. Stress levels were manipulated by repeated exposure to the acute stresses of chasing and netting. Stressed females had longer inter-spawn intervals and laid fewer, smaller eggs. Although no significant differences in egg cortisol concentrations were detected between control and stressed females, egg cortisol concentration fell between spawns in control but not in stressed fish. No effect of helper number was detected for any parameter examined, except there appeared to be less change in egg cortisol content in groups with helpers present. Our results suggest that stress imposes fitness costs on breeding females, and social regulation of a dominance hierarchy does not appear to exacerbate or alleviate the negative effects of maternal stress.

  1. Cortisol and politics: variance in voting behavior is predicted by baseline cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    French, Jeffrey A; Smith, Kevin B; Alford, John R; Guck, Adam; Birnie, Andrew K; Hibbing, John R

    2014-06-22

    Participation in electoral politics is affected by a host of social and demographics variables, but there is growing evidence that biological predispositions may also play a role in behavior related to political involvement. We examined the role of individual variation in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis parameters in explaining differences in self-reported and actual participation in political activities. Self-reported political activity, religious participation, and verified voting activity in U.S. national elections were collected from 105 participants, who were subsequently exposed to a standardized (nonpolitical) psychosocial stressor. We demonstrated that lower baseline salivary cortisol in the late afternoon was significantly associated with increased actual voting frequency in six national elections, but not with self-reported non-voting political activity. Baseline cortisol predicted significant variation in voting behavior above and beyond variation accounted for by traditional demographic variables (particularly age of participant in our sample). Participation in religious activity was weakly (and negatively) associated with baseline cortisol. Our results suggest that HPA-mediated characteristics of social, cognitive, and emotional processes may exert an influence on a trait as complex as voting behavior, and that cortisol is a better predictor of actual voting behavior, as opposed to self-reported political activity.

  2. Re-awakening Magmatic Systems: The Mechanics of an Open-system Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergantz, George; Burgisser, Alain; Schleicher, Jillian

    2016-04-01

    The re-awakening of magmatic systems requires new magma input, which often induces mixing with a resident magma existing as a crystal-rich mush. This is expressed by complex phenocryst populations, many of which preserve evidence of multiple episodes of recycling. The unlocking and mobilization of these resident mushes conditions the progress of re-awakening, however their processes are poorly understood. Crystal-rich but mobile systems, dominated by their granular mechanics, are not satisfactorily explained from either fluid or solid-like models. We will present a generalizing framework for describing the mechanics of crystal-rich mushes based on the notion of force chains. Force chains arise from crystal-crystal contacts and describe the highly non-uniform way that stress is transmitted in a crystal-rich mush. Using CFD-DEM simulations that resolve crystal-scale mechanics, we will show how the populations of crystal mush force chains and their spatial fabric change during an open-system event. We will show how the various forms of dissipation, such as: fluid drag, particle-fluid drag, particle normal and shear lubrication, and contact friction, jointly contribute to the processes of magma mush unlocking, mobilization and fabric formation. We will also describe non-intuitive constitutive behavior such as non-local and non-affine deformation as well as complex, rheological transitions from continuous to discontinuous shear thickening as a function of the dimensionless shear rate. One implication of this is that many of the commonly-invoked postulates about magma behavior such as lock-up at a critical crystallinity and suspension rheology, are better understood from a micro-physical (crystal-scale) perspective as a combination of far-field geometrical controls, local frictional thickening and shear jamming, each with distinct time scales. This kind of crystal-based unifying framework can simultaneously recover diverse processes such as strain-localization, shear

  3. Interaction of Staphylococcus aureus persister cells with the host when in a persister state and following awakening

    PubMed Central

    Mina, Elin G.; Marques, Cláudia N. H.

    2016-01-01

    Persister cells, a tolerant cell sub-population, are commonly associated with chronic and recurrent infections. However, little is known about their ability to actually initiate or establish an infection, become virulent and cause pathogenicity within a host. Here we investigated whether Staphylococcus aureus persister cells initiate an infection and are recognized by macrophages, while in a persister cell status, and upon awakening due to exposure to cis-2-decenoic acid (cis-DA). Our results show that S. aureus persister cells are not able to initiate infections in A. thaliana and present significantly reduced virulence towards C. elegans compared to total populations. In contrast, awakened S. aureus persister cells are able to initiate infections in A. thaliana and in C. elegans albeit, with lower mortality than total population. Furthermore, exposure of S. aureus persister cells to cis-DA led to a loss of tolerance to ciprofloxacin, and an increase of the bacterial fluorescence to levels found in total population. In addition, macrophage engulfment of persister cells was significantly lower than engulfment of total population, both before and following awakening. Overall our findings indicate that upon awakening of a persister population the cells regain their ability to infect hosts despite the absence of an increased immune response. PMID:27506163

  4. Brief Report: Use of an Antecedent Procedure to Decrease Night Awakening in an Infant--A Replication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cautilli, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    Borowski, Hunter, and Johnson (2001) found that an antecedent strategy such as white noise could decrease sleep awakenings for infants in the natural home environment. This study attempts to replicate the findings using an ABAB reversal design. A five month and one week old child, who had difficulty with waking an average of four times per night,…

  5. Serum cortisol concentrations in horses with colic.

    PubMed

    Mair, T S; Sherlock, C E; Boden, L A

    2014-09-01

    Few studies have evaluated cortisol concentrations in horses with colic. In humans with septic shock, high cortisol levels are associated with an increased risk of death. The objectives of this study were to compare the serum total cortisol concentrations (STCCs) in horses with colic to those without colic, and to assess whether the STCC relates to the pathological nature or outcome of the disease. STCCs were determined at presentation in horses with colic and in systemically healthy 'control' horses. Horses with colic were grouped based on clinical and clinico-pathological parameters at admission, treatment, lesion type and location, and outcome. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were performed using two different outcome measures: (a) whether the horse had colic or not (yes vs. no), and (b) horse STCC (≥200 nmol/L vs. <200 nmol/L). Horses were more likely to have colic if they presented with high STCCs (≥200 nmol/L compared with <200 nmol/L). Horses with colic and with STCCs ≥200nmol/L were more likely to have moderate or severe colic signs (compared with mild colic) and heart rates >45 beats per min (compared with ≤45 beats per min). It was concluded that colic in horses is associated with elevated STCCs, and increased STCC in horses with colic appears to relate to the severity of the disease. STCCs may provide additional decision-making and prognostic information in horses with colic but further studies are required to avoid misinterpretations associated with the wide variation in STCCs.

  6. Inadequate cortisol synthesis in prophyria cutanea tarda.

    PubMed

    Pereţianu, D; Sava, D; Giurcăneanu, C; Grigorie, D

    1991-01-01

    Many common clinical features suggest that between corticosuprarenal insufficiency (CSRI) and porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) there may be some pathogenic relationships. In order to further understand these relations we have performed the ACTH-depot stimulation test (1 mg, i.m.) in 9 patients (from 13 males) with PCT. In 8 patients cortisolemia was assayed 1, 2, (12) and 24 hours post-stimulation. In all 13 cases the basal eliminations of cortisol metabolite (17-OH-corticosteroids) were under normal limits: 2.88 mg/24 h/g creatinine vs 15 controls with 7.06 mg/24h/g creatinine. After ACTH four cases showed lack of stimulation, considered on the second day for 17-OH-corticosteroids. In one case, after one year of PCT treatment, the early post-stimulation level is only moderately decreased. In one case, the test was normal. In four cases the ACTH stimulation was over-normal, i.e., greater than on the first day, suggesting supraphysiological responses. In this group 2 patients showed unexpectedly low early stimulation slopes on cortisolemia (at 1 and 2 hours) associated with concordant high late stimulation levels. This later phenomenon suggests a functional impaired secretion of cortisol in PCT, which seems to be similar to that of insulinemia after glucose in NIDDM, as a receptor lesion. The lesions of cortisol secretion in PCT could have been made by porphyrin storage, impaired hem-enzyme synthesis (cyt P-450) and as a new and attractive hypothesis, could be due to mitochondrial porphyrin receptor decreased activity.

  7. Whole egg and alevin changes of cortisol and interrenal tissue differences in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss exposed to different stocking densities during early development.

    PubMed

    Ghaedi, Gholamreza; Yavari, Vahid; Falahatkar, Bahram; Nikbakht, Gholamreza; Sheibani, Mohammad T; Salati, Amir P

    2013-12-01

    Cortisol level changes in response to stocking density in the early stages of rainbow trout were measured. Eggs were exposed to low, normal, and high (2.55, 5.10 and 7.65 eggs cm(-2)) densities during the incubation period. Cortisol of maternal origin was found in pre-fertilized eggs (5.09 ± 0.12 ng g(-1)) of rainbow trout. In newly fertilized eggs, resting Cortisol levels (3.68 ± 0.14 ng g(-1)) decreased to 0.58 ± 0.08, 0.60 ± 0.12, and 0.57 ± 0.16 ng g(-1) at low, normal and high densities by day 10 (organo-genesis), respectively. Resting Cortisol levels remained constant until the eyed stage (day 18). Then, Cortisol showed an increase at hatching to 1.16 ± 0.11, 1.20 ± 0.12, and 1.21 ± 0.14 ng g(-1) at low, normal, and high densities, respectively. The pattern of change in Cortisol level was similar in all three densities. Interrenal cells were observed in 1-day old alevins at all three densities. Hematopoietic tissue, renal tubules and nucleated red blood cells were clarified through the head part of kidney. Higher numbers and larger interrenal cells were observed at high-density groups. Chronic density stress test conducted on embryonic stages of rainbow trout revealed no differences in Cortisol levels, but had an effect on the abundance and size of the interrenal cells. Densities were equaled after hatching (200 alevins per replicate) to investigate the different densities of eggs on stress indices in rainbow trout alevins. An acute stress (air exposure of eggs for five minutes) was applied in three treatments two weeks after hatching, and samples were taken at 0, 1, 3, 6, and 24 hps (hours post stress). Cortisol content increased under low density in 1 hps and reached from 5.21 ± 0.13 ng g(-1) to 6.01 ± 0.18 ng g(-1) (P < 0.05). Cortisol levels increased under normal density in 1 hps from 6.03 ± 0.28 ng g(-1) to 10.84 ± 0.18 ng g(-1) (P < 0.05). In high density also Cortisol increased from 6.83 ± 0.23 ng g(-1) to 8.86 ± 0.26 ng g(-1) (P < 0

  8. Enhanced Cortisol Response to Stress in Children in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spratt, Eve G.; Nicholas, Joyce S.; Brady, Kathleen T.; Carpenter, Laura A.; Hatcher, Charles R.; Meekins, Kirk A.; Furlanetto, Richard W.; Charles, Jane M.

    2012-01-01

    Children with Autism often show difficulties in adapting to change. Previous studies of cortisol, a neurobiologic stress hormone reflecting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, in children with autism have demonstrated variable results. This study measured cortisol levels in children with and without Autism: (1) at rest; (2) in a…

  9. Assessing Salivary Cortisol in Studies of Child Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Eve B.; Granger, Douglas A.; Susman, Elizabeth J.; Gunnar, Megan R.; Laird, Brandi

    1998-01-01

    Evaluated the susceptibility of radioimmunoassays (RIA) for saliva cortisol to interference effects caused by oral stimulants (drink mix crystals) used to facilitate saliva collection in studies with children. Found that oral stimulants artificially inflated estimated cortisol concentrations, with the magnitude of the interference-effect…

  10. Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants' Responses Following Art Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaimal, Girija; Ray, Kendra; Muniz, Juan

    2016-01-01

    This quasi-experimental study investigated the impact of visual art making on the cortisol levels of 39 healthy adults. Participants provided saliva samples to assess cortisol levels before and after 45 minutes of art making. Participants also provided written responses about the experience at the end of the session. Results indicate that art…

  11. Suppressing the Morning Rise in Cortisol Impairs Free Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rimmele, Ulrike; Meier, Flurina; Lange, Tanja; Born, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Elevated glucocorticoid levels impair memory retrieval. We investigated whether retrieval under naturally elevated glucocorticoid levels, i.e., during the morning rise in cortisol can be improved by suppressing cortisol. In a crossover study 16 men retrieved emotional and neutral texts and pictures (learned 3 d earlier) 30 min after morning…

  12. Father Contributions to Cortisol Responses in Infancy and Toddlerhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mills-Koonce, W. Roger; Garrett-Peters, Patricia; Barnett, Melissa; Granger, Douglas A.; Blair, Clancy; Cox, Martha J.

    2011-01-01

    The current study is one of the first prospective examinations of longitudinal associations between observed father caregiving behaviors and child cortisol reactivity and regulation in response to emotional arousal. Observations of father and mother caregiving behaviors and child cortisol levels in response to challenges at 7 months and 24 months…

  13. Longitudinal Associations among Child Maltreatment, Social Functioning, and Cortisol Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alink, Lenneke R. A.; Cicchetti, Dante; Kim, Jungmeen; Rogosch, Fred A.

    2012-01-01

    Child maltreatment increases the risk for impaired social functioning and cortisol regulation. However, the longitudinal interplay among these factors is still unclear. This study aimed to shed light on the effect of maltreatment on social functioning and cortisol regulation over time. The sample consisted of 236 children (mean age 7.64 years, SD…

  14. Cortisol Levels and Conduct Disorder in Adolescent Mothers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Azar, Rima; Zoccolillo, Mark; Paquette, Daniel; Quiros, Elsa; Baltzer, Franziska; Tremblay, Richard E.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To examine the association between cortisol levels and conduct disorder (CD) in adolescent mothers. Past research has shown that low levels of cortisol were associated with CD, particularly with its aggressive symptoms. The authors tested the hypothesis that adolescent mothers with CD would show lower levels of salivary cortisol…

  15. Cortisol Release in Infants in Response to Inoculation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Michael; Thomas, David

    1990-01-01

    Data provide strong evidence that studies of stress and cortisol release in infants must take into account basal level, circadian rhythm, and behavioral effects and employ appropriate statistical procedures. Participants were infants of two, four, and six months of age from whom salivary cortisol was obtained before and 15 minutes after an…

  16. Awakening as a change process among women at risk for HIV who engage in survival sex.

    PubMed

    Mallory, C; Stern, P N

    2000-09-01

    Women who exchange sex for survival requirements risk exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This grounded theory study was conducted to better understand these women's concerns, attitudes, and behaviors related to HIV, with the goal of informing prevention research. Interviews with 11 women engaged in survival sex were analyzed. Women described sliding into survival sex as a result of economic crises. Survival sex exposed women to violence, drug use, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV. Mitigating these risks is a process of awakening in which women reconstruct risk and survival and make changes in their behavior. These findings highlight the complexity of the problem of survival sex and suggest interventions to help women protect themselves against HIV.

  17. Processing communications events in parallel active messaging interface by awakening thread from wait state

    DOEpatents

    Archer, Charles J; Blocksome, Michael A; Ratterman, Joseph D; Smith, Brian E

    2013-10-22

    Processing data communications events in a parallel active messaging interface (`PAMI`) of a parallel computer that includes compute nodes that execute a parallel application, with the PAMI including data communications endpoints, and the endpoints are coupled for data communications through the PAMI and through other data communications resources, including determining by an advance function that there are no actionable data communications events pending for its context, placing by the advance function its thread of execution into a wait state, waiting for a subsequent data communications event for the context; responsive to occurrence of a subsequent data communications event for the context, awakening by the thread from the wait state; and processing by the advance function the subsequent data communications event now pending for the context.

  18. Processing data communications events by awakening threads in parallel active messaging interface of a parallel computer

    DOEpatents

    Archer, Charles J.; Blocksome, Michael A.; Ratterman, Joseph D.; Smith, Brian E.

    2016-03-15

    Processing data communications events in a parallel active messaging interface (`PAMI`) of a parallel computer that includes compute nodes that execute a parallel application, with the PAMI including data communications endpoints, and the endpoints are coupled for data communications through the PAMI and through other data communications resources, including determining by an advance function that there are no actionable data communications events pending for its context, placing by the advance function its thread of execution into a wait state, waiting for a subsequent data communications event for the context; responsive to occurrence of a subsequent data communications event for the context, awakening by the thread from the wait state; and processing by the advance function the subsequent data communications event now pending for the context.

  19. Awake at 4 AM: treatment of insomnia with early morning awakenings among older adults.

    PubMed

    Fiorentino, Lavinia; Martin, Jennifer L

    2010-11-01

    Insomnia is a common problem among older adults. In particular, older adults experience insomnia coupled with early morning awakenings due to an interaction between age-related changes in circadian rhythm timing coupled with behavior changes that contribute to sustained poor sleep. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), at times coupled with circadian interventions (e.g., timed light exposure), are likely to be most successful in optimizing sleep quality. In delivering CBT-I to older adults, modifications are sometimes necessary to accommodate for medical problems, lifestyle, social factors, and patient preferences. Addition of circadian interventions can ameliorate the negative effects of inappropriately timed sleep as well. These treatment methods can be highly effective and benefits can be long-standing. A case example is used to illustrate these points.

  20. Cortisol secretion in children with symptoms of reactive attachment disorder.

    PubMed

    Kočovská, Eva; Wilson, Philip; Young, David; Wallace, Alan Michael; Gorski, Charlotta; Follan, Michael; Smillie, Maureen; Puckering, Christine; Barnes, James; Gillberg, Christopher; Minnis, Helen

    2013-08-30

    Maltreated children with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) have severe problems with social relationships and affect regulation. An association between early maltreatment and changes in the daily rhythm of cortisol secretion has already been reported for maltreated toddlers. We sought to find out whether such changes were apparent in school-age children with symptoms of RAD, who had experienced early maltreatment but were currently adopted in well-functioning families. We recruited 66 children: 34 adopted children, aged 5-12 years, with an early history of maltreatment and with social difficulties such as indiscriminate friendliness; and 32 age- and sex-matched comparison children with no history of maltreatment or social difficulties. Daily rhythms of cortisol production were determined from saliva samples collected over 2 days. The adopted group had significantly lower absolute levels of cortisol compared to the control group, but a typical profile of cortisol secretion. There was no association between cortisol secretion and symptom scores for psychopathology.

  1. Enhanced cortisol response to stress in children in autism.

    PubMed

    Spratt, Eve G; Nicholas, Joyce S; Brady, Kathleen T; Carpenter, Laura A; Hatcher, Charles R; Meekins, Kirk A; Furlanetto, Richard W; Charles, Jane M

    2012-01-01

    Children with Autism often show difficulties in adapting to change. Previous studies of cortisol, a neurobiologic stress hormone reflecting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, in children with autism have demonstrated variable results. This study measured cortisol levels in children with and without Autism: (1) at rest; (2) in a novel environment; and (3) in response to a blood draw stressor. A significantly higher serum cortisol response was found in the group of children with autism. Analysis showed significantly higher peak cortisol levels and prolonged duration and recovery of cortisol elevation following the blood-stick stressor in children with autism. This study suggests increased reactivity of the HPA axis to stress and novel stimuli in children with autism.

  2. Association between birth conditions and glucose and cortisol profiles of periparturient dairy cows and neonatal calves.

    PubMed

    Vannucchi, C I; Rodrigues, J A; Silva, L C G; Lúcio, C F; Veiga, G A L; Furtado, P V; Oliveira, C A; Nichi, M

    2015-04-04

    Parturition in cattle is a stressful event for both the dam and the offspring. Stress and pain can alter the energy profile of calves and calving cows, producing a metabolic imbalance at birth. This study aimed to assess the effects of dystocia and oxytocin and calcium infusion on metabolic homeostasis in dairy cows and calves. Thirty Holstein cows and their calves were divided into three groups: an eutocia group (n=10), in which no calving assistance was needed; a dystocia group, which required mild-to-severe obstetric assistance (n=10); and a uterine inertia group, which was treated with oxytocin and calcium (n=10). To assess serum cortisol and blood glucose levels, blood samples were collected during the peripartum period from cows and during the first hour since birth from calves. All groups were hyperglycaemic following parturition. Infusion of oxytocin and calcium resulted in lower maternal glucose concentrations and lower levels of stress than in cows in the dystocia group. Birth condition was significantly associated with blood glucose and cortisol concentrations in calves. Glucose concentration was lower in calves born with oxytocin and calcium infusion than those born with fetal extraction. In conclusion, assisted calving with fetal extraction causes important metabolic changes for the dam and calf. Conversely, the practice of oxytocin and calcium infusion for hypotonic cows has no harmful effects on metabolic balance and can be safely employed as a medical treatment.

  3. Hair cortisol concentrations in higher- and lower-stress mother-daughter dyads: A pilot study of associations and moderators.

    PubMed

    Ouellette, Sarah J; Russell, Evan; Kryski, Katie R; Sheikh, Haroon I; Singh, Shiva M; Koren, Gideon; Hayden, Elizabeth P

    2015-07-01

    Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) are receiving increased attention as a novel biomarker of psychophysiological responses to chronic stress, with potential relevance for psychopathology risk research. We examined the validity of HCC as a marker of psychosocial stress in mother (M(age)  = 37.87 years)-daughter (M(age)  = 7.62 years) dyads characterized by higher (n = 30) or lower (n = 30) maternal chronic stress. Additionally, we examined whether early care moderated similarity of HCC levels within dyads. Higher-stress mothers had significantly lower HCC compared to lower-stress mothers, consistent with other research showing that chronic stress leads to blunted HPA axis activity over time. Further, HCC in daughters were significantly and positively associated with previously assessed salivary cortisol stress reactivity. Finally, mother-daughter HCC associations were significantly moderated by negative parenting styles, such that associations became stronger as quality of parenting decreased. Findings overall indicate that HCC may be a useful marker of cortisol responses to chronic stress.

  4. Motivation, stress, and cortisol responses in skydiving.

    PubMed

    Thatcher, Joanne; Reeves, Sue; Dorling, Debbie; Palmer, Anna

    2003-12-01

    This study examined metamotivational dominance, metamotivational states, and cortisol responses in skydiving participants. Data were obtained from 23 experienced skydivers 15 min. prior to and following a skydive. Respondents were mainly paratelic-conformist dominant and most occupied the conformist and arousal-seeking states prior to skydiving, assessed respectively, with Apter, et al.'s Motivational Style Profile and Cook, et al.'s measure of metamotivational states. Paratelic-conformist dominance indicates a predisposition towards conformity and a desire to be spontaneous, and the conformist and arousal seeking states reported prior to completing the skydive represent a desire to conform to expected norms but also to seek arousal. There was no significant change in scores for metamotivational state or stress following skydiving. Contrary to expectations, cortisol level prior to skydiving was negatively associated with external stress. These results support the paratelic, but not the negativistic, dominance found in previous samples of risk sport participants (no skydivers). The conformist dominance and pre-dive conformist metamotivational state scores of this sample may be fundamental for adhering to safety regulations imposed on skydivers. To obtain better understanding of this phenomenon, researchers should attempt to measure these variables during, rather than prior to and after, participation in risk sports.

  5. Sleep and 24-h activity rhythms in relation to cortisol change after a very low-dose of dexamethasone.

    PubMed

    Luik, Annemarie I; Direk, Neşe; Zuurbier, Lisette A; Hofman, Albert; Van Someren, Eus J W; Tiemeier, Henning

    2015-03-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays an important role in sleep. Nevertheless, the association of sleep and its 24-h organization with negative feedback control of the HPA axis has received limited attention in population-based studies. We explored this association in 493 middle-aged persons of the Rotterdam Study, a large population-based study (mean age 56 years, standard deviation: 5.3 years; 57% female). The negative feedback of the HPA axis was measured as the change in morning saliva cortisol after the intake of 0.25mg dexamethasone the night before. Actigraphy allowed us to measure the stability and fragmentation of the activity rhythm and to estimate total sleep time, sleep onset latency and wake after sleep onset. A sleep diary kept during the week of actigraphy was used to assess self-reported total sleep time, sleep onset latency, number of awakenings and perceived sleep quality. In our study, enhanced negative feedback of the HPA axis was found in association with unstable activity rhythms (B=0.106, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.002; 0.210), total sleep time (B=0.108, 95%CI: 0.001; 0.215) and poor subjective sleep quality (B=0.107, 95%CI: 0.009; 0.206) after multivariate adjustment. These results indicated that the 24-h organization, duration and experience of sleep are all associated with the negative feedback control of the HPA axis.

  6. Outcomes after resection of cortisol-secreting adrenocortical carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Margonis, Georgios Antonios; Kim, Yuhree; Tran, Thuy B.; Postlewait, Lauren M.; Maithel, Shishir K.; Wang, Tracy S.; Glenn, Jason A.; Hatzaras, Ioannis; Shenoy, Rivfka; Phay, John E.; Keplinger, Kara; Fields, Ryan C.; Jin, Linda X.; Weber, Sharon M.; Salem, Ahmed; Sicklick, Jason K.; Gad, Shady; Yopp, Adam C.; Mansour, John C.; Duh, Quan-Yang; Seiser, Natalie; Solorzano, Carmen C.; Kiernan, Colleen M.; Votanopoulos, Konstantinos I.; Levine, Edward A.; Poultsides, George A.; Pawlik, Timothy M.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND We sought to define the impact of cortisol-secreting status on outcomes after surgical resection of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). METHODS The U.S ACC group database was queried to identify patients who underwent ACC resection between 1993 and 2014. The short-term and long-term outcomes were assessed. RESULTS The incidence of all functional and cortisol-secreting tumors was 40.6% and 22.6%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, cortisol secretion remained associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications (odds ratio = 2.25, 95 % confidence interval = 1.04 to 4.88; P = .04). At a median follow-up of 17.6 months, 118 patients (50.4%) had developed a recurrence. On multivariable analysis, after adjusting for patient and disease-related factors cortisol secretion independently predicted shorter recurrence-free survival (Hazard ratio = 2.05, 95% confidence interval = 1.16 to 3.60; P = .01). CONCLUSIONS Cortisol secretion was associated with an increased risk of postoperative morbidity. Recurrence remains high among patients with ACC after surgery; cortisol secretion was independently associated with a shorter recurrence-free survival. Tailoring postoperative surveillance of ACC patients based on their cortisol secreting status may be important. PMID:26810939

  7. Reduced Cortisol Output during Public Speaking Stress in Ostracized Women

    PubMed Central

    Weik, Ulrike; Ruhweza, Jennifer; Deinzer, Renate

    2017-01-01

    Ostracism (being excluded or ignored) is experienced as unpleasant and distressing. In previous studies, an immediate pre-stress experience of ostracism induced by Cyberball, a virtual ball-tossing game, was found to inhibit cortisol reactivity to public speaking stress in female students. The present study examines whether the effect will persist when a 15-min time gap between the Cyberball experience and subsequent psychological stress is introduced. N = 84 women were randomly assigned to Cyberball ostracism vs. inclusion. 15 min after playing Cyberball, all women were subjected to public speaking stress. Salivary cortisol and mood were repeatedly assessed during the course of the experiment. These are the main findings of the study: Repeated measures ANCOVA revealed that public speaking stress resulted in a significant increase of cortisol in both groups (inclusion vs. ostracism). However, cortisol levels were significantly lower in the ostracism group. In earlier studies when Cyberball was played immediately before public speaking stress, the cortisol response to public speaking was completely suppressed in ostracized women. By introducing a waiting period between Cyberball and public speaking stress in the present study, the main effect of an ostracism induced reduction of cortisol remained, although both groups showed an increase of cortisol as a response to public speaking. These results again suggest that the experience of ostracism might inhibit hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, thereby confirming previous results. The formerly observed total suppression of HPA axis responsiveness to public speaking, however, seems to be a rather short-term effect. PMID:28228738

  8. Role of shame and body esteem in cortisol stress responses

    PubMed Central

    Lupis, Sarah B.; Sabik, Natalie J.

    2016-01-01

    Studies assessing the role of shame in HPA axis reactivity report mixed findings. Discrepancies may be due to methodological difficulties and inter-individual differences in the propensity to experience shame in a stressful situation. Hence, the current study combined self-report of shame and facial coding of shame expressions and assessed the role of body esteem as a moderator of the shame–stress link. For this, 44 healthy students (24F, age 20.5 ± 2.1 years) were exposed to an acute psychosocial stress paradigm (Trier Social Stress Test: TSST). Salivary cortisol levels were measured throughout the protocol. Trait shame was measured before the stress test, and state shame immediately afterwards. Video recordings of the TSST were coded to determine emotion expressions. State shame was neither associated with cortisol stress responses nor with body esteem (self-report: all ps ≥ .24; expression: all ps ≥ .31). In contrast, higher trait shame was associated with both negative body esteem (p = .049) and stronger cortisol stress responses (p = .013). Lastly, having lower body esteem predicted stronger cortisol stress responses (p = .022); however, it did not significantly moderate the association between shame indices and cortisol stress responses (all ps ≥ .94). These findings suggest that body esteem and trait shame independently contribute to strength of cortisol stress responses. Thus, in addition to trait shame, body esteem emerged as an important predictor of cortisol stress responses and as such, a potential contributor to stress-related negative health outcomes. PMID:26577952

  9. Reduced Cortisol Output during Public Speaking Stress in Ostracized Women.

    PubMed

    Weik, Ulrike; Ruhweza, Jennifer; Deinzer, Renate

    2017-01-01

    Ostracism (being excluded or ignored) is experienced as unpleasant and distressing. In previous studies, an immediate pre-stress experience of ostracism induced by Cyberball, a virtual ball-tossing game, was found to inhibit cortisol reactivity to public speaking stress in female students. The present study examines whether the effect will persist when a 15-min time gap between the Cyberball experience and subsequent psychological stress is introduced. N = 84 women were randomly assigned to Cyberball ostracism vs. inclusion. 15 min after playing Cyberball, all women were subjected to public speaking stress. Salivary cortisol and mood were repeatedly assessed during the course of the experiment. These are the main findings of the study: Repeated measures ANCOVA revealed that public speaking stress resulted in a significant increase of cortisol in both groups (inclusion vs. ostracism). However, cortisol levels were significantly lower in the ostracism group. In earlier studies when Cyberball was played immediately before public speaking stress, the cortisol response to public speaking was completely suppressed in ostracized women. By introducing a waiting period between Cyberball and public speaking stress in the present study, the main effect of an ostracism induced reduction of cortisol remained, although both groups showed an increase of cortisol as a response to public speaking. These results again suggest that the experience of ostracism might inhibit hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, thereby confirming previous results. The formerly observed total suppression of HPA axis responsiveness to public speaking, however, seems to be a rather short-term effect.

  10. Role of shame and body esteem in cortisol stress responses.

    PubMed

    Lupis, Sarah B; Sabik, Natalie J; Wolf, Jutta M

    2016-04-01

    Studies assessing the role of shame in HPA axis reactivity report mixed findings. Discrepancies may be due to methodological difficulties and inter-individual differences in the propensity to experience shame in a stressful situation. Hence, the current study combined self-report of shame and facial coding of shame expressions and assessed the role of body esteem as a moderator of the shame-stress link. For this, 44 healthy students (24F, age 20.5 ± 2.1 years) were exposed to an acute psychosocial stress paradigm (Trier Social Stress Test: TSST). Salivary cortisol levels were measured throughout the protocol. Trait shame was measured before the stress test, and state shame immediately afterwards. Video recordings of the TSST were coded to determine emotion expressions. State shame was neither associated with cortisol stress responses nor with body esteem (self-report: all ps ≥ .24; expression: all ps ≥ .31). In contrast, higher trait shame was associated with both negative body esteem (p = .049) and stronger cortisol stress responses (p = .013). Lastly, having lower body esteem predicted stronger cortisol stress responses (p = .022); however, it did not significantly moderate the association between shame indices and cortisol stress responses (all ps ≥ .94). These findings suggest that body esteem and trait shame independently contribute to strength of cortisol stress responses. Thus, in addition to trait shame, body esteem emerged as an important predictor of cortisol stress responses and as such, a potential contributor to stress-related negative health outcomes.

  11. Increased serum cortisol binding in chronic active hepatitis

    SciTech Connect

    Orbach, O.; Schussler, G.C.

    1989-01-01

    A high serum cortisol concentration, apparently due to increased cortisol-binding globulin (CBG), was found in a patient (index case) with chronic active hepatitis (CAH). We therefore performed further studies to determine whether increased cortisol binding is generally associated with CAH. Serum samples were obtained from 15 hospitalized patients with long-term liver function test elevations but no evidence of cirrhosis, 15 normal subjects without a history of hepatitis, four healthy pregnant women, and 10 alcoholic patients with stigmata of cirrhosis. Serum cortisol binding was measured by an adaptation of a previously described charcoal uptake method. Thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and sex hormone-binding globulin were determined by radioimmunoassays. Charcoal uptake of 125I cortisol from sera of normal subjects and additional patients with CAH revealed that increased serum cortisol binding by a saturable site, presumably CBG, was associated with CAH. Cortisol binding was significantly correlated with immunoassayable TBG, suggesting that in CAH, similar mechanisms may be responsible for increasing the serum concentrations of CBG and TBG.

  12. Assessing salivary cortisol in large-scale, epidemiological research.

    PubMed

    Adam, Emma K; Kumari, Meena

    2009-11-01

    Salivary cortisol measures are increasingly being incorporated into large-scale, population-based, or epidemiological research, in which participants are selected to be representative of particular communities or populations of interest, and sample sizes are in the order of hundreds to tens of thousands of participants. These approaches to studying salivary cortisol provide important advantages but pose a set of challenges. The representative nature of sampling, and large samples sizes associated with population-based research offer high generalizability and power, and the ability to examine cortisol functioning in relation to: (a) a wide range of social environments; (b) a diverse array individuals and groups; and (c) a broad set of pre-disease and disease outcomes. The greater importance of high response rates (to maintain generalizability) and higher costs associated with this type of large-scale research, however, requires special adaptations of existing ambulatory cortisol protocols. These include: using the most efficient sample collection protocol possible that still adequately address the specific cortisol-related questions at hand, and ensuring the highest possible response and compliance rates among those individuals invited to participate. Examples of choices made, response rates obtained, and examples of results obtained from existing epidemiological cortisol studies are offered, as are suggestions for the modeling and interpretation of salivary cortisol data obtained in large-scale epidemiological research.

  13. Plasma cortisol levels and illness appraisal in deficit syndrome schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    White, Ross G; Lysaker, Paul; Gumley, Andrew I; McLeod, Hamish; McCleery, Muriel; O'Neill, Donnacha; MacBeth, Angus; Giurgi-Oncu, Catalina; Mulholland, Ciaran C

    2014-12-30

    Research investigating the association between negative symptoms and plasma cortisol levels in individuals with schizophrenia has produced inconsistent findings. This study investigated whether deficit syndrome schizophrenia (characterized by high levels of primary negative symptoms) is associated with comparatively high morning plasma cortisol levels, more negative appraisals about illness and higher levels of depression. Participants were 85 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and 85 individuals with no history of contact with psychiatric services matched for age and gender. All participants provided fasting 9.00a.m. plasma cortisol samples. There were no significant differences between the schizophrenia and control participants in plasma cortisol levels. The Proximal Deficit Syndrome method was used to identify individuals with deficit syndrome schizophrenia. Contrary to what had been hypothesized, participants with deficit syndrome schizophrenia had significantly lower plasma cortisol levels than both non-deficit syndrome participants and control participants. Participants with the deficit syndrome reported significantly less negative appraisals about illness (assessed by PBIQ) and lower levels of depression (assessed by BDI-II). Differences in cortisol levels continued to trend toward significance when levels of depression were controlled for. The patterns of illness-related appraisals and plasma cortisol levels raise the possibility that the deficit syndrome could be a form of adaptation syndrome.

  14. Approaches to salivary cortisol collection and analysis in infants.

    PubMed

    Tryphonopoulos, Panagiota D; Letourneau, Nicole; Azar, Rima

    2014-10-01

    Salivary cortisol is becoming more commonly utilized as a biologic marker of stress in observational studies and intervention research. However, its use with infants (12 months of age or younger) is less widespread and poses some special challenges to researchers. In order to decide on the most suitable collection procedure for salivary cortisol in infants, a number of criteria should be considered. This article will aid investigators interested in integrating salivary cortisol measurement into their research studies by presenting (1) an overview of the patterns of cortisol secretion in infancy including the development of diurnal rhythm and response to stress; (2) a comparison of the most commonly used approaches for collecting salivary cortisol samples in infants including cotton rope, syringe aspiration technique, filter paper, hydrocellulose microsponge, and the Salimetrics children's swab; (3) a discussion of the factors contributing to heightened cortisol variability in infancy and how these can be limited; (4) analytical issues associated with cortisol measurement; and (5) examples of criteria to consider when choosing a saliva sampling method and lab for conducting assays.

  15. Reference ranges for cortisol and α-amylase in mother and newborn saliva samples at different perinatal and postnatal periods.

    PubMed

    García-Blanco, Ana; Vento, Máximo; Diago, Vicente; Cháfer-Pericás, Consuelo

    2016-06-01

    This paper describes a reliable analytical method based on Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry to determine cortisol in saliva samples from healthy mothers (n=87) and newborns (n=65) at different time points: (i) 38 weeks of gestation, (ii) in the immediate postnatal period (48h) after a term delivery and, (iii) 3 months after delivery. The procedure is characterized by a simple sample treatment employing a sample volume of 25μL. In addition to this, salivary α-amylase was determined using a commercial kit. We have proposed potential reference ranges in saliva for cortisol (0.7-35nmolL(-1)) and α-amylase (2-500UmL(-1)) in mothers, and for cortisol (0.1-56nmolL(-1)) and α-amylase (0.1-500UmL(-1)) in newborn infants. In addition, statistical differences between the two sensitive population groups (mothers and newborns) at the perinatal and postnatal periods were studied. A lower concentration for maternal cortisol was found at 38 weeks of gestation than at 48h (p=0.048) or 3 months after delivery (p=0.021). Similar results were found for the α-amylase determinations. Hence, higher concentrations than could be expected from a chronic stress marker were found at 3 months after delivery than at 38 weeks of gestation (p<0.001) or 48h after delivery (p<0.001). We conclude that this analytical method could be applied to further clinical research on perinatal and postnatal stress, such as threatened preterm labor and/or parenting stress, respectively.

  16. Effects of early life adversity on cortisol/salivary alpha-amylase symmetry in free-ranging juvenile rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Petrullo, Lauren A; Mandalaywala, Tara M; Parker, Karen J; Maestripieri, Dario; Higham, James P

    2016-11-01

    Early life adversity (ELA) affects physiological and behavioral development. One key component is the relationship between the developing Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Recent studies suggest a relationship between early life adversity and asymmetry in cortisol (a measure of HPA activation) and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA: a correlate of SNS activation) responses to stress among human children, but to our knowledge there have been no comparable studies in nonhumans. Here, we investigate the responses of these two analytes in "low stress" and "high stress" situations in free-ranging juvenile rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. Behavioral data on maternal maltreatment were collected during the first 3months of life to determine individual rates of ELA, and saliva samples were collected from subjects noninvasively during juvenility. Irrespective of ELA, salivary alpha-amylase levels were lower in low stress situations and higher in high stress situations. For cortisol however, high ELA subjects exhibited higher low stress concentrations and blunted acute responses during high stress situations compared to moderate and low ELA subjects. Cortisol and sAA values were positively correlated among low ELA subjects, suggesting symmetry, but were uncorrelated or negatively correlated among moderate and high ELA subjects, suggesting asymmetry in these individuals. These findings indicate dysregulation of the stress response among juveniles maltreated during infancy: specifically, attenuated cortisol reactivity coupled with typical sAA reactivity characterize the stress response profiles of juveniles exposed to higher rates of ELA during the first 3months of life.

  17. Effects of cortisol administration on craving in heroin addicts

    PubMed Central

    Walter, M; Bentz, D; Schicktanz, N; Milnik, A; Aerni, A; Gerhards, C; Schwegler, K; Vogel, M; Blum, J; Schmid, O; Roozendaal, B; Lang, U E; Borgwardt, S; de Quervain, D

    2015-01-01

    Heroin dependence is a severe and chronically relapsing substance use disorder with limited treatment options. Stress is known to increase craving and drug-taking behavior, but it is not known whether the stress hormone cortisol mediates these stress effects or whether cortisol may rather reduce craving, for example, by interfering with addiction memory. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of cortisol administration on craving in heroin-dependent patients and to determine whether the effects depend on the daily dose of heroin consumption. We used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study in 29 heroin-dependent patients in a stable heroin-assisted treatment setting. A single oral dose of 20 mg of cortisol or placebo was administered 105 min before the daily heroin administration. The primary outcome measure was cortisol-induced change in craving. Secondary measures included anxiety, anger and withdrawal symptoms. For the visual analog scale for craving, we found a significant interaction (P=0.0027) between study medication and heroin-dose group (that is, daily low, medium or high dose of heroin). Cortisol administration reduced craving in patients receiving a low dose of heroin (before heroin administration: P=0.0019; after heroin administration: P=0.0074), but not in patients receiving a medium or high dose of heroin. In a picture-rating task with drug-related pictures, cortisol administration did not affect the ratings for the picture-characteristic craving in all the three heroin-dose groups. Cortisol also did not significantly affect secondary outcome measures. In conclusion, a single administration of cortisol leads to reduced craving in low-dose heroin addicts. The present findings might have important clinical implications with regard to understanding stress effects and regarding treatment of addiction. PMID:26218852

  18. Prolonged Cortisol Reactivity to Stress and White Matter in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Nugent, Katie L.; Chiappelli, Joshua; Sampath, Hemalatha; Rowland, Laura M.; Thangavelu, Kavita; Davis, Beshaun; Du, Xiaoming; Muellerklein, Florian; Daughters, Stacey; Kochunov, Peter; Hong, L. Elliot

    2015-01-01

    Objective While acute hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress is often adaptive, prolonged responses may have detrimental effects. Many components of white matter structures are sensitive to prolonged cortisol exposure. We aimed to identify a behavioral laboratory assay for which cortisol response related to brain pathophysiology in schizophrenia. We hypothesized that an abnormally prolonged cortisol response to stress may be linked to abnormal white matter integrity in patients with schizophrenia. Methods Acute and prolonged salivary cortisol response was measured outside the scanner at pre-test and then at 0, 20, and 40 minutes after a psychological stress task in patients with schizophrenia (n=45) and controls (n=53). Tract-averaged white matter was measured by 64-direction diffusion tensor imaging in a subset of patients (n=30) and controls (n=33). Results Patients who did not tolerate and quit the psychological stress task had greater acute (t=2.52, p=0.016; t=3.51, p=0.001 at zero and 20 minutes) and prolonged (t=3.62, p=0.001 at 40 minutes) cortisol reactivity compared with patients who finished the task. Abnormally prolonged cortisol reactivity in patients was significantly associated with reduced white matter integrity (r=−0.468, p=0.009). Regardless of task completion status, acute cortisol response was not related to the white matter measures in patients or controls. Conclusions This paradigm was successful at identifying a subset of patients whose cortisol response was associated with brain pathophysiology. Abnormal cortisol response may adversely affect white matter integrity, partly explaining this pathology observed in schizophrenia. Prolonged stress responses may be targeted for intervention to test for protective effects against white matter damages. PMID:26186431

  19. Cortisol in human tissues at different stages of life.

    PubMed

    Costa, A; Benedetto, C; Fabris, C; Giraudi, G F; Testori, O; Bertino, E; Marozio, L; Varvello, G; Arisio, R; Ariano, M; Emanuel, A

    1996-01-01

    Aim of the work was to measure the cortisol level in human tissues at different stages of life, by means of radioimmunoassay and by chromatography. Viable samples of 13 different tissues were obtained during surgical intervention from 30 to 70 years old patients of either sex. Mean tissue cortisol concentration was 78 +/- 35 ng/g, ranging from 20 +/- 10 ng/g in the thyroid to 124 +/- 76 ng/g in the kidney. Similar values were measured in the corresponding tissues from not decayed corpses, so that paired values could be mediated. However the pancreas, and corrupted autopsy tissues, gave nil or exceedingly high cortisol concentration values; in some cases, opposite extreme values were measured in different organs of the same body. Cortisol concentration was also measured in 11 sound different tissues of spontaneously aborted or stillbirth fetuses, between 16 and 36 weeks of gestation. Mean value was 63 +/- 27 ng/g, ranging from 30 +/- 25 ng/g in the liver to 104 +/- 52 ng/g in the lungs. Also in fetuses nil or exceedingly high cortisol values occurred in altered tissues. One hundred and fourteen samples of limbs and carcasses of 7 to 12 gestational weeks embryos, obtained from voluntary abortions, were also examined: 20% gave nil result, in the remaining mean cortisol concentration was 32 ng/g. In 33 samples of embryos' mixed viscera, RIA and chromatography gave unreliable exceedingly high values. The nil and the exceedingly high values measured in the altered autoptic tissue specimens were inconsistent with the cortisol blood level measured in the patients, as were those measured in embryonic tissues with the acknowledged blood and adrenals cortisol levels at that stage of life. Thus cortisol may be measured by RIA and by chromatography in sound tissues, while the values obtained in the pancreas, in corrupted tissues, and in embryonal viscera do not represent the hormonal milieu, but are likely artifacts due to impeachment of the diagnostic system.

  20. Cortisol reduces plasticity in the kitten visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Daw, N W; Sato, H; Fox, K; Carmichael, T; Gingerich, R

    1991-03-01

    We investigated the effect of elevated levels of cortisol on plasticity in the visual cortex of the cat. Animals were given daily injections of cortisol i.m. for 20 days starting around 35 days of age. After 10 days they were monocularly deprived, and after an additional 10 days recordings were made from the visual cortex to construct an ocular dominance histogram. The results were compared with those from normal animals of the same age, and with animals monocularly deprived for the same period but not treated with cortisol. Cortisol reduced the ocular dominance shift in a dose-dependent manner, but did not totally abolish it even at the highest doses used. Two other series of animals were recorded, one slightly later in the critical period and one slightly earlier, with care taken to give cortisol before the animals were exposed to light in the morning. In both cases, cortisol reduced the ocular dominance shift but did not abolish it. To interpret these results, we measured levels of plasma cortisol in normal cats of various ages. Average levels were fairly constant between birth and 12 months of age (0.5-1 microgram/dl), and increased slightly after that, but there was a large variation between animals. Thus elevated levels of cortisol can have a substantial effect on plasticity in the visual cortex of the cat, but the decline of the critical period for plasticity between 6 weeks and 3-5 months of age does not seem to be due to a rise in cortisol levels during this time.

  1. Effects of cortisol administration on craving in heroin addicts.

    PubMed

    Walter, M; Bentz, D; Schicktanz, N; Milnik, A; Aerni, A; Gerhards, C; Schwegler, K; Vogel, M; Blum, J; Schmid, O; Roozendaal, B; Lang, U E; Borgwardt, S; de Quervain, D

    2015-07-28

    Heroin dependence is a severe and chronically relapsing substance use disorder with limited treatment options. Stress is known to increase craving and drug-taking behavior, but it is not known whether the stress hormone cortisol mediates these stress effects or whether cortisol may rather reduce craving, for example, by interfering with addiction memory. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of cortisol administration on craving in heroin-dependent patients and to determine whether the effects depend on the daily dose of heroin consumption. We used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study in 29 heroin-dependent patients in a stable heroin-assisted treatment setting. A single oral dose of 20 mg of cortisol or placebo was administered 105 min before the daily heroin administration. The primary outcome measure was cortisol-induced change in craving. Secondary measures included anxiety, anger and withdrawal symptoms. For the visual analog scale for craving, we found a significant interaction (P = 0.0027) between study medication and heroin-dose group (that is, daily low, medium or high dose of heroin). Cortisol administration reduced craving in patients receiving a low dose of heroin (before heroin administration: P = 0.0019; after heroin administration: P = 0.0074), but not in patients receiving a medium or high dose of heroin. In a picture-rating task with drug-related pictures, cortisol administration did not affect the ratings for the picture-characteristic craving in all the three heroin-dose groups. Cortisol also did not significantly affect secondary outcome measures. In conclusion, a single administration of cortisol leads to reduced craving in low-dose heroin addicts. The present findings might have important clinical implications with regard to understanding stress effects and regarding treatment of addiction.

  2. Deconvolution of serum cortisol levels by using compressed sensing.

    PubMed

    Faghih, Rose T; Dahleh, Munther A; Adler, Gail K; Klerman, Elizabeth B; Brown, Emery N

    2014-01-01

    The pulsatile release of cortisol from the adrenal glands is controlled by a hierarchical system that involves corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary, and cortisol from the adrenal glands. Determining the number, timing, and amplitude of the cortisol secretory events and recovering the infusion and clearance rates from serial measurements of serum cortisol levels is a challenging problem. Despite many years of work on this problem, a complete satisfactory solution has been elusive. We formulate this question as a non-convex optimization problem, and solve it using a coordinate descent algorithm that has a principled combination of (i) compressed sensing for recovering the amplitude and timing of the secretory events, and (ii) generalized cross validation for choosing the regularization parameter. Using only the observed serum cortisol levels, we model cortisol secretion from the adrenal glands using a second-order linear differential equation with pulsatile inputs that represent cortisol pulses released in response to pulses of ACTH. Using our algorithm and the assumption that the number of pulses is between 15 to 22 pulses over 24 hours, we successfully deconvolve both simulated datasets and actual 24-hr serum cortisol datasets sampled every 10 minutes from 10 healthy women. Assuming a one-minute resolution for the secretory events, we obtain physiologically plausible timings and amplitudes of each cortisol secretory event with R (2) above 0.92. Identification of the amplitude and timing of pulsatile hormone release allows (i) quantifying of normal and abnormal secretion patterns towards the goal of understanding pathological neuroendocrine states, and (ii) potentially designing optimal approaches for treating hormonal disorders.

  3. Interventions to improve cortisol regulation in children: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Slopen, Natalie; McLaughlin, Katie A; Shonkoff, Jack P

    2014-02-01

    Childhood adversity is associated with physiologic dysregulation across multiple biological systems; however, relatively little is known about whether these changes are reversible with intervention. The objective of this review was to examine evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy cortisol regulation in children. We selected articles from English-language publications in PubMed and EBSCO databases through 2012. Two independent reviewers assessed articles against eligibility criteria. Eligible studies were randomized controlled or quasi-experimental studies designed to improve relationships, environments, or psychosocial functioning in children and examined cortisol as an outcome. We identified 19 articles. There was substantial heterogeneity across studies with regard to age, selection criteria, intervention design, cortisol assessment, and follow-up duration. Eighteen of the 19 articles reported at least 1 difference in baseline cortisol, diurnal cortisol, or cortisol responsivity between intervention and control participants. Importantly, however, there was remarkable inconsistency with regard to how the interventions influenced cortisol. Therefore, studies that included a low-risk comparison group (n = 8) provided critical insight, and each found some evidence that postintervention cortisol levels in the intervention group approximated the low-risk comparison group and differed from children receiving usual care. In conclusion, existing studies show that cortisol activity can be altered by psychosocial interventions. These findings are promising, not only because they indicate physiologic plasticity that can be leveraged by interventions but also because they suggest it may be possible to repair regulatory systems after childhood adversity, which could inform strategies for reducing health disparities and promoting lasting improvements in health.

  4. Interventions to Improve Cortisol Regulation in Children: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    McLaughlin, Katie A.; Shonkoff, Jack P.

    2014-01-01

    Childhood adversity is associated with physiologic dysregulation across multiple biological systems; however, relatively little is known about whether these changes are reversible with intervention. The objective of this review was to examine evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to promote healthy cortisol regulation in children. We selected articles from English-language publications in PubMed and EBSCO databases through 2012. Two independent reviewers assessed articles against eligibility criteria. Eligible studies were randomized controlled or quasi-experimental studies designed to improve relationships, environments, or psychosocial functioning in children and examined cortisol as an outcome. We identified 19 articles. There was substantial heterogeneity across studies with regard to age, selection criteria, intervention design, cortisol assessment, and follow-up duration. Eighteen of the 19 articles reported at least 1 difference in baseline cortisol, diurnal cortisol, or cortisol responsivity between intervention and control participants. Importantly, however, there was remarkable inconsistency with regard to how the interventions influenced cortisol. Therefore, studies that included a low-risk comparison group (n = 8) provided critical insight, and each found some evidence that postintervention cortisol levels in the intervention group approximated the low-risk comparison group and differed from children receiving usual care. In conclusion, existing studies show that cortisol activity can be altered by psychosocial interventions. These findings are promising, not only because they indicate physiologic plasticity that can be leveraged by interventions but also because they suggest it may be possible to repair regulatory systems after childhood adversity, which could inform strategies for reducing health disparities and promoting lasting improvements in health. PMID:24420810

  5. Early calibration of the HPA axis by maternal psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Heidemarie

    2017-02-01

    Given the central role of stress-responsive neurophysiology in mental and physical health, it is important to understand how particular patterns of stress responsivity may become entrained by the early caregiving environment. In this study we investigated links between maternal depression and anxiety symptom profiles and within-infant development of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses from 6 to 18 months of life. Associations with infant cognitive and social-emotional development were also tested to gauge the adjustment implications of HPA response trajectories. Mothers from a low-income community sample reported their symptoms at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months postnatal, and infants engaged in interpersonal stress tasks at 6, 12, and 18 months. Four saliva samples were taken at each time to assess cortisol responses, and a developmental screener at 18 months provided an index of infant adjustment. Multilevel modeling results revealed an association between maternal symptoms and infant HPA axis sensitization-i.e., a higher cortisol reactivity slope that increased over time. In particular, early (3-month) depression symptoms among mothers who had crossed a diagnostic threshold for major depressive disorder predicted this pattern of response, which in turn related to poorer infant developmental outcomes. Results are considered in terms of adaptive calibration of stress response systems, which may come at a cost to individual psychosocial functioning.

  6. Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Infant Cortisol Reactivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eiden, Rina D.; Veira, Yvette; Granger, Douglas A.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on infant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and reactivity at 7 months of infant age. Participants were 168 caregiver-infant dyads (87 cocaine exposed, 81 not cocaine exposed; 47% boys). Maternal behavior, caregiving instability, and infant growth and behavior were assessed,…

  7. Development of a formula for estimating plasma free cortisol concentration from a measured total cortisol concentration when elastase-cleaved and intact corticosteroid binding globulin coexist.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Phuong T T; Lewis, John G; Sneyd, James; Lee, Rita S F; Torpy, David J; Shorten, Paul R

    2014-05-01

    Cortisol bound to corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) contributes up to 90% of the total cortisol concentration in circulation. Therefore, changes in the binding kinetics of cortisol to CBG can potentially impact on the concentration of free cortisol, the only form that is responsible for the physiological function of the hormone. When CBG is cleaved into elastase-cleaved CBG (eCBG) by the activity of neutrophil elastase, its affinity for cortisol is reduced. Therefore, when eCBG coexists with intact CBG (iCBG) in plasma, the calculation of free cortisol concentration based on the formulae that considers only one CBG pool with the same affinity for cortisol may be inappropriate. In this study, we developed in vivo and in vitro models of cortisol partitioning which considers two CBG pools, iCBG and eCBG, with different affinities for cortisol, and deduce a new formula for calculating plasma free cortisol concentration. The formula provides better estimates of free cortisol concentration than previously used formulae when measurements of the concentrations of the two CBG forms are available. The model can also be used to estimate the affinity of CBG and albumin for cortisol in different clinical groups. We found no significant difference in the estimated affinity of CBG and albumin for cortisol in normal, sepsis and septic shock groups, although free cortisol was higher in sepsis and septic shock groups. The in vivo model also demonstrated that the concentration of interstitial free cortisol is increased locally at a site of inflammation where iCBG is cleaved to form eCBG by the activity of elastase released by neutrophils. This supports the argument that the cleavage of iCBG at sites of inflammation leads to more lower-affinity eCBG and may be a mechanism that permits the local concentration of free cortisol to increase at these sites, while allowing basal free cortisol concentrations at other sites to remain unaffected.

  8. Pregnancy Distress Gets Under Fetal Skin: Maternal Ambulatory Assessment & Sex Differences in Prenatal Development

    PubMed Central

    Doyle, Colleen; Werner, Elizabeth; Feng, Tianshu; Lee, Seonjoo; Altemus, Margaret; Isler, Joseph R.

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal maternal distress is associated with an at-risk developmental profile, yet there is little fetal evidence of this putative in utero process. Moreover, the biological transmission for these maternal effects remains uncertain. In a study of n = 125 pregnant adolescents (ages 14–19), ambulatory assessments of daily negative mood (anger, frustration, irritation, stress), physical activity, blood pressure, heart rate (every 30 min over 24 hr), and salivary cortisol (six samples) were collected at 13–16, 24–27, 34–37 gestational weeks. Corticotropin-releasing hormone, C-reactive protein, and interleukin 6 from blood draws and 20 min assessments of fetal heart rate (FHR) and movement were acquired at the latter two sessions. On average, fetuses showed development in the expected direction (decrease in FHR, increase in SD of FHR and in the correlation of movement and FHR (“coupling”)). Maternal distress characteristics were associated with variations in the level and trajectory of fetal measures, and results often differed by sex. For males, greater maternal 1st and 2nd session negative mood and 2nd session physical activity were associated with lower overall FHR (p <.01), while 1st session cortisol was associated with a smaller increase in coupling (p <.01), and overall higher levels (p = .05)—findings suggesting accelerated development. For females, negative mood, cortisol, and diastolic blood pressure were associated with indications of relatively less advanced and accelerated outcomes. There were no associations between negative mood and biological variables. These data indicate that maternal psychobiological status influences fetal development, with females possibly more variously responsive to different exposures. PMID:25945698

  9. Maternal immune activation affects litter success, size and neuroendocrine responses related to behavior in adult offspring.

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; Chester, Emily M; Demas, Gregory E

    2013-07-02

    It is increasingly evident that influences other than genetics can contribute to offspring phenotype. In particular, maternal influences are an important contributing factor to offspring survival, development, physiology and behavior. Common environmental pathogens such as viral or bacterial microorganisms can induce maternal immune responses, which have the potential to alter the prenatal environment via multiple independent pathways. The effects of maternal immune activation on endocrine responses and behavior are less well studied and provide the basis for the current study. Our approach in the current study was two-pronged: 1) quantify sickness responses during pregnancy in adult female hamsters experiencing varying severity of immune responsiveness (i.e., differing doses of lipopolysaccharide [LPS]), and 2) assess the effects of maternal immune activation on offspring development, immunocompetence, hormone profiles, and social behavior during adulthood. Pregnancy success decreased with increasing doses of LPS, and litter size was reduced in LPS dams that managed to successfully reproduce. Unexpectedly, pregnant females treated with LPS showed a hypothermic response in addition to the more typical anorexic and body mass changes associated with sickness. Significant endocrine changes related to behavior were observed in the offspring of LPS-treated dams; these effects were apparent in adulthood. Specifically, offspring from LPS treated dams showed significantly greater cortisol responses to stressful resident-intruder encounters compared with offspring from control dams. Post-behavior cortisol was elevated in male LPS offspring relative to the offspring of control dams, and was positively correlated with the frequency of bites during agonistic interactions, and cortisol levels in both sexes were related to defensive behaviors, suggesting that changes in hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness may play a regulatory role in the observed behavioral

  10. Differentiating anticipatory from reactive cortisol responses to psychosocial stress.

    PubMed

    Engert, Veronika; Efanov, Simona I; Duchesne, Annie; Vogel, Susanne; Corbo, Vincent; Pruessner, Jens C

    2013-08-01

    Most psychosocial stress studies assess the overall cortisol response without further identifying the temporal dynamics within hormone levels. It has been shown, however, that the amplitude of anticipatory cortisol stress levels has a unique predictive value for psychological health. So far, no "best practice" in how to investigate the anticipatory cortisol stress response has emerged. The goal of the current research was to develop a protocol that would allow for a sensitive and easy-to-implement laboratory-based investigation into anticipatory cortisol stress levels. We initially tested 26 healthy men in either an anticipation- or stress-only condition of the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) to map the distinct timelines of anticipatory and reactive cortisol release profiles (study 1). Subsequently, we administered the TSST to 50 healthy men such that the cortisol responses to anticipatory and reactive stress components could be dissociated (study 2). In both studies we sampled saliva cortisol at high frequency (at baseline, during 10min of anticipation and during and after 10min of acute stress) and the current mood state pre- and post-stress. We found anticipatory responder rates of 20% and 40%, with peak anticipatory cortisol levels between 14 and 20min after onset of anticipation. Visible changes in reactive cortisol levels occurred only after the termination of the acute stressor. We conclude that the best practice to detect a maximum number of anticipatory responders in the TSST would be to extend the anticipation phase to 15min. In doing so, the anticipatory cortisol peak could be captured at a time-point of the actual stressor that is uninfluenced by reactive cortisol levels. Overall, we could reveal several features of anticipatory responders. Most importantly, there was a positive correlation between anticipatory and reactive stress responses. There was no association between anticipatory cortisol and alpha-amylase as well as subjective

  11. Development of an LC-MS/MS method for the determination of endogenous cortisol in hair using (13)C3-labeled cortisol as surrogate analyte.

    PubMed

    Binz, Tina M; Braun, Ueli; Baumgartner, Markus R; Kraemer, Thomas

    2016-10-15

    Hair cortisol levels are increasingly applied as a measure for stress in humans and mammals. Cortisol is an endogenous compound and is always present within the hair matrix. Therefore, "cortisol-free hair matrix" is a critical point for any analytical method to accurately quantify especially low cortisol levels. The aim of this project was to modify current methods used for hair cortisol analysis to more accurately determine low endogenous cortisol concentrations in hair. For that purpose, (13)C3-labeled cortisol, which is not naturally present in hair (above 13C natural abundance levels), was used for calibration and comparative validation applying cortisol versus (13)C3-labeled cortisol. Cortisol was extracted from 20mg hair (standard sample amount) applying an optimized single step extraction protocol. An LC-MS/MS method was developed for the quantitative analysis of cortisol using either cortisol or (13)C3-cortisol as calibrators and D7-cortisone as internal standard (IS). The two methods (cortisol/(13)C3-labeled cortisol) were validated in a concentration range up to 500pg/mg and showed good linearity for both analytes (cortisol: R(2)=0.9995; (13)C3-cortisol R(2)=0.9992). Slight differences were observed for limit of detection (LOD) (0.2pg/mg/0.1pg/mg) and limit of quantification (LOQ) (1pg/mg/0.5pg/mg). Precision was good with a maximum deviation of 8.8% and 10% for cortisol and (13)C3-cortisol respectively. Accuracy and matrix effects were good for both analytes except for the quality control (QC) low cortisol. QC low (2.5pg/mg) showed matrix effects (126.5%, RSD 35.5%) and accuracy showed a deviation of 26% when using cortisol to spike. These effects are likely to be caused by the unknown amount of endogenous cortisol in the different hair samples used to determine validation parameters like matrix effect, LOQ and accuracy. No matrix effects were observed for the high QC (400pg/mg) samples. Recovery was good with 92.7%/87.3% (RSD 9.9%/6.2%) for QC low and

  12. Al SahawaThe Awakening: Volume 3-B: Al Anbar Province Area of Operations Denver, HadithahHit Corridor

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-05-01

    training. I think a lot of the lessons we learned early on were integrated into the pre- deployment training program. It was interesting to see the...source for trainers and educators. It is presented in multimedia to accommodate different teaching and learning styles.5 The project presents the...Fallujah. Rather than the starting point, Sheikh Sattar’s Sahawa was the product of accumulating events. ix Contents 1. The Awakening

  13. Cortisol Function Among Early School-aged Homeless Children

    PubMed Central

    Cutuli, J. J.; Wiik, Kristen L.; Herbers, Janette E.; Gunnar, Megan R.; Masten, Ann S.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Homelessness represents a context of extreme poverty and risk for child development. This study compared the relative influence of two classes of risk in the context of homelessness. Levels of socioeconomic resource-related risk and negative lifetime events were examined with respect to morning cortisol levels and cortisol response to a set of cognitive tasks. Participants were 66 children between the ages of 4 and 7 years staying in an emergency shelter for families. Adversities largely reflecting family level negative life events predicted higher levels of morning cortisol and differences in initial level and change over the course of the session of cognitive tasks. In contrast, a socioeconomic cumulative risk score was not associated with morning or session-related differences in cortisol. PMID:20022181

  14. Exogenous cortisol causes a shift from deliberative to intuitive thinking.

    PubMed

    Margittai, Zsofia; Nave, Gideon; Strombach, Tina; van Wingerden, Marijn; Schwabe, Lars; Kalenscher, Tobias

    2016-02-01

    People often rely on intuitive judgments at the expense of deliberate reasoning, but what determines the dominance of intuition over deliberation is not well understood. Here, we employed a psychopharmacological approach to unravel the role of two major endocrine stress mediators, cortisol and noradrenaline, in cognitive reasoning. Healthy participants received placebo, cortisol (hydrocortisone) and/or yohimbine, a drug that increases noradrenergic stimulation, before performing the cognitive reflection test (CRT). We found that cortisol impaired performance in the CRT by biasing responses toward intuitive, but incorrect answers. Elevated stimulation of the noradrenergic system, however, had no effect. We interpret our results in the context of the dual systems theory of judgment and decision making. We propose that cortisol causes a shift from deliberate, reflective cognition toward automatic, reflexive information processing.

  15. Cortisol, insulin and leptin during space flight and bed rest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stein, T. P.; Schluter, M. D.; Leskiw, M. J.

    1999-01-01

    Most ground based models for studying muscle atrophy and bone loss show reasonable fidelity to the space flight situation. However there are some differences. Investigation of the reasons for these differences can provide useful information about humans during space flight and aid in the refinement of ground based models. This report discusses three such differences, the relationships between: (i) cortisol and the protein loss, (ii) cortisol and ACTH and (iii) leptin, insulin and food intake.

  16. Salivary and Plasma Testosterone and Cortisol during Moderately Heavy Exercise.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-04-01

    radioisumoassay of cortisol in whole saliva or parotid saliva. Clinical Chemistry , 1978, 24, 1460-1463. *9. Katz, F.H. 4 Shannon, I.L. Parotid fluid... Clinical Chemistry , 1979, 2S, 542-545. 15. Walker, LF., Read, G.F., 6 Riad-Raboy, D. Pladiolumoassay of perogesterone in saliva: A~plication to the...Single antibody tedmique for radioinioassay of cortisol in umextracted seru or plasma. . Clinical Chemistry , 1 74, 0 365-368. 20. Odell, .D., Swerdloff

  17. CSF 5-HIAA, cortisol and DHEAS levels in suicide attempters.

    PubMed

    Chatzittofis, Andreas; Nordström, Peter; Hellström, Christer; Arver, Stefan; Åsberg, Marie; Jokinen, Jussi

    2013-10-01

    The serotonin system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are involved in the biological vulnerability to suicidal behaviour. Altered levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulphate ester DHEAS have been reported in neuropsychiatric conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate CSF levels of 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and CSF and plasma levels of cortisol and DHEAS in 28 medication free suicide attempters and 19 healthy volunteers. Another aim was to investigate the relationship between neuroendocrine measures and childhood trauma in suicide attempters. As the study design includes a longitudinal part, we investigated whether CSF cortisol, 5-HIAA or DHEAS would predict subsequent suicide. We hypothesized higher cortisol levels in suicide attempters and lower CSF 5-HIAA levels and higher cortisol levels in suicide victims. Suicide attempters had higher CSF and plasma cortisol levels compared to healthy volunteers. Male suicide attempters had higher CSF DHEAS levels and female suicide attempters had lower CSF 5-HIAA levels compared to male and female healthy volunteers respectively. Exposure to interpersonal violence as a child showed a negative correlation with CSF cortisol/DHEAS ratio adjusted for age, gender and depression severity in a regression analysis. Suicide victims tended to have low CSF 5-HIAA and high CSF cortisol. Abused suicide victims had higher CSF cortisol compared to suicide victims with low exposure to interpersonal violence as a child. The results underlie the important role of the serotonergic system and HPA axis in suicidal behaviour and suggest that CSF DHEAS may be elevated in male suicide attempters.

  18. Does cortisol influence core executive functions? A meta-analysis of acute cortisol administration effects on working memory, inhibition, and set-shifting.

    PubMed

    Shields, Grant S; Bonner, Joseph C; Moons, Wesley G

    2015-08-01

    The hormone cortisol is often believed to play a pivotal role in the effects of stress on human cognition. This meta-analysis is an attempt to determine the effects of acute cortisol administration on core executive functions. Drawing on both rodent and stress literatures, we hypothesized that acute cortisol administration would impair working memory and set-shifting but enhance inhibition. Additionally, because cortisol is thought to exert different nongenomic (rapid) and genomic (slow) effects, we further hypothesized that the effects of cortisol would differ as a function of the delay between cortisol administration and cognitive testing. Although the overall analyses were nonsignificant, after separating the rapid, nongenomic effects of cortisol from the slower, genomic effects of cortisol, the rapid effects of cortisol enhanced response inhibition, g+ = 0.113, p=.016, but impaired working memory, g+ = -0.315, p=.008, although these effects reversed over time. Contrary to our hypotheses, there was no effect of cortisol administration on set-shifting. Thus, although we did not find support for the idea that increases in cortisol influence set-shifting, we found that acute increases in cortisol exert differential effects on working memory and inhibition over time.

  19. Mechanisms Underlying Footshock and Psychological Stress-Induced Abrupt Awakening From Posttraumatic “Nightmares”

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Bin; Cui, Su-Ying; Zhang, Xue-Qiong; Cui, Xiang-Yu; Li, Sheng-Jie; Sheng, Zhao-Fu; Cao, Qing; Huang, Yuan-Li; Xu, Ya-Ping; Lin, Zhi-Ge; Yang, Guang; Song, Jin-Zhi; Ding, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Background: Posttraumatic nightmares are a highly prevalent and distressing symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but have been the subject of limited phenomenological investigations. Methods: We utilized a communication box to establish PTSD symptoms in rats through exposure to footshock stress (FS) and psychological stress (PS). The immunohistochemical test and high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection were used to detect the activity and monoamine levels in the rats’ arousal systems. Results: Twenty-one days after traumatic stress, 14.17% of FS and 12.5% of PS rats exhibited startled awakening, and the same rats showed hyperfunction of the locus coeruleus/noradrenergic system and hypofunction of the perifornical nucleus/orexinergic system. Changes in serotonin levels in the dorsal raphe nucleus showed opposite trends in the FS and PS rats that were startled awake. No differences were found in other sleep/arousal systems. Conclusion: These results suggest that different clinically therapeutic strategies should be considered to treat different trauma-induced posttraumatic nightmares. PMID:26591007

  20. Analysis of the dream contents in Japanese college students by REMP-awakening technique.

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, T; Morita, Y; Matsumoto, J

    1982-01-01

    An experiment was performed on 39 college students aged from 19 to 21 years using the REMP-awakening technique. The contents of 297 dreams were analyzed according to the Hall-Van de Castle scale. The recall rate was 76% (home) and 85.5% (laboratory). The dream with past experiences was 75% (home), 64.9% (laboratory) and the bizarre dream was 30.5% (home), 28.8% (laboratory) and the dream experiment was 3.6% (home) and 11.7% (laboratory). Emotional and color dreams were noted more in females than in males. Female dreamers tended to be the victim of aggressive dreams as compared with the males. In our student dreams, there were more characters and they dreamed more about food and less about movement activity than in the American students of Hall & Van de Castle. From the polygraphic records, the relation between verbal activity and submental EMG activity, the pulse rate variability and emotionality in dreams, the number of reported dreams and the amount of body movement, eye movement density and the vividness of dream contents were revealed.

  1. Pharmacotherapy for disorders of consciousness: are 'awakening' drugs really a possibility?

    PubMed

    Ciurleo, Rosella; Bramanti, Placido; Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore

    2013-11-01

    Disorders of consciousness, including the coma state, vegetative state and minimally conscious state, are among the least understood and least curable conditions in modern neurology. Structural or functional injuries may produce impairments in the neuronal circuits (the ascending reticular activating system and thalamocortical loops) responsible for maintaining the wakefulness state and awareness, associated with a change in neurotransmitter concentrations. Pharmacological agents that are able to restore the levels of neurotransmitters and, consequently, neural synaptic plasticity and functional connectivity of consciousness networks, may play an important role as drugs useful in improving the consciousness state. Currently, there is growing interest in the scientific community with regard to pharmacological agents that act on the gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) system, such as zolpidem and baclofen, and monoamine systems, such as dopaminergic agents and some antidepressants. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive overview of these potential 'awakening' drugs in patients with disorders of consciousness. The possible mechanisms by which these drugs may exert their effects in promoting recovery of consciousness are discussed, highlighting how many findings are often the result of sporadic events rather than prospective controlled trials or implementation of standard treatment guidelines.

  2. A reason for intermittent fasting to suppress the awakening of dormant breast tumors.

    PubMed

    Lankelma, Jan; Kooi, Bob; Krab, Klaas; Dorsman, Josephine C; Joenje, Hans; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2015-01-01

    For their growth, dormant tumors, which lack angiogenesis may critically depend on gradients of nutrients and oxygen from the nearest blood vessel. Because for oxygen depletion the distance from the nearest blood vessel to depletion will generally be shorter than for glucose depletion, such tumors will contain anoxic living tumor cells. These cells are dangerous, because they are capable of inducing angiogenesis, which will "wake up" the tumor. Anoxic cells are dependent on anaerobic glucose breakdown for ATP generation. The local extracellular glucose concentration gradient is determined by the blood glucose concentration and by consumption by cells closer to the nearest blood vessel. The blood glucose concentration can be lowered by 20-40% during fasting. We calculated that glucose supply to the potentially hazardous anoxic cells can thereby be reduced significantly, resulting in cell death specifically of the anoxic tumor cells. We hypothesize that intermittent fasting will help to reduce the incidence of tumor relapse via reducing the number of anoxic tumor cells and tumor awakening.

  3. Neural substrates of awakening probed with optogenetic control of hypocretin neurons.

    PubMed

    Adamantidis, Antoine R; Zhang, Feng; Aravanis, Alexander M; Deisseroth, Karl; de Lecea, Luis

    2007-11-15

    The neural underpinnings of sleep involve interactions between sleep-promoting areas such as the anterior hypothalamus, and arousal systems located in the posterior hypothalamus, the basal forebrain and the brainstem. Hypocretin (Hcrt, also known as orexin)-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are important for arousal stability, and loss of Hcrt function has been linked to narcolepsy. However, it is unknown whether electrical activity arising from Hcrt neurons is sufficient to drive awakening from sleep states or is simply correlated with it. Here we directly probed the impact of Hcrt neuron activity on sleep state transitions with in vivo neural photostimulation, genetically targeting channelrhodopsin-2 to Hcrt cells and using an optical fibre to deliver light deep in the brain, directly into the lateral hypothalamus, of freely moving mice. We found that direct, selective, optogenetic photostimulation of Hcrt neurons increased the probability of transition to wakefulness from either slow wave sleep or rapid eye movement sleep. Notably, photostimulation using 5-30 Hz light pulse trains reduced latency to wakefulness, whereas 1 Hz trains did not. This study establishes a causal relationship between frequency-dependent activity of a genetically defined neural cell type and a specific mammalian behaviour central to clinical conditions and neurobehavioural physiology.

  4. People Awakening: Collaborative Research to Develop Cultural Strategies for Prevention in Community Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Allen, James; Mohatt, Gerald V.; Beehler, Sarah; Rowe, Hillary L.

    2014-01-01

    The consequences of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and suicide create immense health disparities among Alaska Native people. The People Awakening project is a long-term collaboration between Alaska Native (AN) communities and university researchers seeking to foster health equity through development of positive solutions to these disparities. These efforts initiated a research relationship that identified individual, family, and community protective factors from AUD and suicide. AN co-researchers next expressed interest in translating these findings into intervention. This led to development of a strengths-based community intervention that is the focus of the special issue. The intervention builds these protective factors to prevent AUD and suicide risk within AN youth, and their families and communities. This review provides a critical examination of existing literature and a brief history of work leading to the intervention research. These work efforts portray a shared commitment of university researchers and community members to function as co-researchers, and to conduct research in accord with local Yup’ik cultural values. This imperative allowed the team to navigate several tensions we locate in a convergence of historical and contemporary ecological contextual factors inherent in AN tribal communities with countervailing constraints imposed by Western science. PMID:24903819

  5. Estimation of cerebrospinal fluid cortisol level in tuberculous meningitis

    PubMed Central

    Mahale, Rohan R.; Mehta, Anish; Uchil, Sudhir

    2015-01-01

    Background: Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in tuberculosis is around 5–10%. Of the various manifestations of CNS tuberculosis, meningitis is the most common (70–80%). Delay in diagnosis and treatment results in significant morbidity and mortality. Objective: To study the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cortisol levels in tubercular meningitis and compare the levels with controls. Methods: Cross-sectional, prospective, observational, hospital-based study done in 20 patients of tubercular meningitis, 20 patients of aseptic meningitis (AM) and 25 control subjects without any preexisting neurological disorders who have undergone lumbar puncture for spinal anesthesia. Results: Cortisol was detected in all 40 CSF samples of patients (100%). Mean CSF cortisol level was 8.82, 3.47 and 1.05 in tubercular meningitis, AM and controls, respectively. Mean CSF cortisol level in tubercular meningitis was significantly higher as compared to AM and controls (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Cortisol level estimation in CSF is one of the rapid, relatively inexpensive diagnostic markers in early identification of tubercular meningitis along with CSF findings of elevated proteins, hypoglycorrhachia and lymphocytic pleocytosis. This aids in earlier institution of appropriate treatment and thereby decreasing morbidity and mortality. This is the first study on the estimation of CSF cortisol level in tuberculous meningitis. PMID:26752900

  6. Utility of cerebrospinal fluid cortisol level in acute bacterial meningitis

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Anish; Mahale, Rohan R.; Sudhir, Uchil; Javali, Mahendra; Srinivasa, Rangasetty

    2015-01-01

    Background: Meningitis remains a serious clinical problem in developing as well as developed countries. Delay in diagnosis and treatment results in significant morbidity and mortality. The role and levels of intrathecal endogenous cortisol is not known. Objective: To study the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cortisol levels and to evaluate its role as a diagnostic and therapeutic marker in acute bacterial meningitis. Materials and Methods: Thirty patients with acute bacterial meningitis with no prior treatment were evaluated. Cortisol levels were compared with 20 patients with aseptic (viral) meningitis and 25 control subjects. Results: Mean CSF cortisol level was 13.85, 3.47, and 1.05 in bacterial meningitis, aseptic meningitis, and controls, respectively. Mean CSF cortisol level in bacterial meningitis was significantly higher as compared to controls (P < 0.001). There was significant difference in CSFcortisol levels in bacterial and aseptic meningitis (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Cortisol levels in CSF are highly elevated in patients with acute bacterial meningitis. This suggests that intrathecalcortisol may serve as a valuable, rapid, relatively inexpensive diagnostic marker in discriminatingbetween bacterial and aseptic meningitis. This helps in earlier institution of appropriate treatment and thereby decreasing morbidity and mortality. PMID:26019421

  7. A Pharmacokinetic Model of a Tissue Implantable Cortisol Sensor.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael A; Bakh, Naveed; Bisker, Gili; Brown, Emery N; Strano, Michael S

    2016-12-01

    Cortisol is an important glucocorticoid hormone whose biochemistry influences numerous physiological and pathological processes. Moreover, it is a biomarker of interest for a number of conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder, Cushing's syndrome, Addison's disease, and others. An implantable biosensor capable of real time monitoring of cortisol concentrations in adipose tissue may revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders, as well as provide an invaluable research tool. Toward this end, a mathematical model, informed by the physiological literature, is developed to predict dynamic cortisol concentrations in adipose, muscle, and brain tissues, where a significant number of important processes with cortisol occur. The pharmacokinetic model is applied to both a prototypical, healthy male patient and a previously studied Cushing's disease patient. The model can also be used to inform the design of an implantable sensor by optimizing the sensor dissociation constant, apparent delay time, and magnitude of the sensor output versus system dynamics. Measurements from such a sensor would help to determine systemic cortisol levels, providing much needed insight for proper medical treatment for various cortisol-related conditions.

  8. Neuroticism and cortisol: The importance of checking for sex differences.

    PubMed

    DeSoto, M Catherine; Salinas, Manuel

    2015-12-01

    Existent research documents an unclear and contradictory pattern between cortisol and personality variables, especially neuroticism. Specifically, no effect, positive correlations and negative correlations have all been reported to exist between cortisol and neuroticism. The current study tested whether males and females have a fundamentally different relationship between HPA activation and neuroticism and if this might partially account for some of the discrepancy in findings. Saliva samples (n=183) for cortisol were collected three times across a 90min period. Neuroticism was measured via the NEO-FFI. For men, neuroticism was positively correlated with cortisol level (r=.29). For women it was negatively correlated. The negative correlation between neuroticism and cortisol level remained when oral contraceptive use was statistically controlled, and the statistical significance actually increased (partial r=-.20). This suggests a slight suppressor effect, explainable by prior research on correlates of oral contraceptive use. Overall, these findings may offer some explanation for the discrepant results that have been reported in the existing literature regarding neuroticism and cortisol measures.

  9. HPA Axis Genetic Variation, Cortisol, and Psychosis in Major Depression

    PubMed Central

    Schatzberg, Alan F.; Keller, Jennifer; Tennakoon, Lakshika; Lembke, Anna; Williams, Gordon; Kraemer, Fredric B.; Sarginson, Jane E.; Lazzeroni, Laura C.; Murphy, Greer M.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variation underlying hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis over-activity in healthy controls and patients with severe forms of major depression has not been well explored but could explain risk for cortisol dysregulation. 95 participants were studied: 40 patients with psychotic major depression (PMD); 26 patients with nonpsychotic major depression (NPMD); and 29 healthy controls (HC). Collection of genetic material was added one third of the way into a larger study on cortisol, cognition, and psychosis in major depression. Subjects were assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Blood was collected hourly for determination of cortisol from 6pm to 9am and for the assessment of alleles for 6 genes involved in HPA Axis regulation. Two of the 6 genes contributed significantly to cortisol levels, psychosis measures or depression severity. After accounting for age, depression, and psychosis, and medication status, only allelic variation for the glucocorticoid receptor gene (GR) accounted for significant variance for mean cortisol levels from 6pm to 1am (r2=.317) and from 1am to 9am (r2=.194). Interestingly, neither depression severity nor psychosis predicted cortisol variance. In addition, GR and corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRH-R1) contributed significantly to psychosis measures and CRH-R1 contributed significantly to depression severity rating. PMID:24166410

  10. Endogenous cortisol regulates immunoglobulin E-dependent late phase reactions.

    PubMed Central

    Herrscher, R F; Kasper, C; Sullivan, T J

    1992-01-01

    To investigate the impact that physiological variation in serum cortisol has on IgE-mediated events, 10 atopic subjects underwent cutaneous antigen challenge with measurement of the early phase wheal (EPW) at 20 min and the late phase reaction (LPR) at 6 h. All subjects were challenged during control conditions between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. Repeat challenges were performed in five subjects at 6:00 p.m. and in eight subjects after ingestion of metyrapone, a specific inhibitor of cortisol synthesis. Compared with control values, mean serum cortisol was suppressed in the evening and after metyrapone (P less than 0.05 all time points). No effect was seen on the EPW, but mean LPR diameters at three antigen dilutions were significantly increased by cortisol suppression (P less than 0.05). Replacement doses of hydrocortisone given in the evening and with metyrapone abrogated these increases. Blinded analysis of LPR biopsies from cortisol-suppressed subjects revealed increases in leukocytoclasis (P less than or equal to 0.0001), interstitial leukocytes (P less than or equal to 0.01), and eosinophils (P less than or equal to 0.04). These results indicate that physiological levels of serum cortisol can regulate IgE-dependent cutaneous inflammation by affecting the expression of cellular events at late phase sites. Images PMID:1644926

  11. Endogenous cortisol regulates immunoglobulin E-dependent late phase reactions.

    PubMed

    Herrscher, R F; Kasper, C; Sullivan, T J

    1992-08-01

    To investigate the impact that physiological variation in serum cortisol has on IgE-mediated events, 10 atopic subjects underwent cutaneous antigen challenge with measurement of the early phase wheal (EPW) at 20 min and the late phase reaction (LPR) at 6 h. All subjects were challenged during control conditions between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. Repeat challenges were performed in five subjects at 6:00 p.m. and in eight subjects after ingestion of metyrapone, a specific inhibitor of cortisol synthesis. Compared with control values, mean serum cortisol was suppressed in the evening and after metyrapone (P less than 0.05 all time points). No effect was seen on the EPW, but mean LPR diameters at three antigen dilutions were significantly increased by cortisol suppression (P less than 0.05). Replacement doses of hydrocortisone given in the evening and with metyrapone abrogated these increases. Blinded analysis of LPR biopsies from cortisol-suppressed subjects revealed increases in leukocytoclasis (P less than or equal to 0.0001), interstitial leukocytes (P less than or equal to 0.01), and eosinophils (P less than or equal to 0.04). These results indicate that physiological levels of serum cortisol can regulate IgE-dependent cutaneous inflammation by affecting the expression of cellular events at late phase sites.

  12. Academic self-concept of ability and cortisol reactivity.

    PubMed

    Minkley, N; Westerholt, D M; Kirchner, W H

    2014-05-01

    The present study aimed to clarify the relationship between a school-specific trait (academic self-concept of ability [ASCA]) and hormonal stress response by using a trait-compatible stressor (test). First, we determined 52 students' ASCA scores for biology and measured their salivary cortisol concentration before and after a biology test (experimental group, n=28) or a free writing task (control group, n=24). For participants who took the test, statistical analysis indicated a significant negative correlation between ASCA score and cortisol response. In contrast, the control group showed a decrease in cortisol concentrations between test times and no correlation between cortisol concentration and ASCA scores were found. These findings indicated an interaction between ASCA scores and hormonal stress response when an academic-related stressor is present. Furthermore, these variables might influence each other adversely: high cortisol concentrations during a test situation may lead to greater feelings of insecurity, resulting in low ASCA scores and awareness of these low scores may lead to a further increase in cortisol, creating a vicious cycle.

  13. MDMA, cortisol, and heightened stress in recreational ecstasy users.

    PubMed

    Parrott, Andrew C; Montgomery, Cathy; Wetherell, Mark A; Downey, Luke A; Stough, Con; Scholey, Andrew B

    2014-09-01

    Stress develops when an organism requires additional metabolic resources to cope with demanding situations. This review will debate how recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') can increase some aspects of acute and chronic stress in humans. Laboratory studies on the acute effects of MDMA on cortisol release and neurohormone levels in drug-free regular ecstasy/MDMA users have been reviewed, and the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in chronic changes in anxiety, stress, and cognitive coping is debated. In the laboratory, acute ecstasy/MDMA use can increase cortisol levels by 100-200%, whereas ecstasy/MDMA-using dance clubbers experience an 800% increase in cortisol levels, because of the combined effects of the stimulant drug and dancing. Three-month hair samples of abstinent users revealed cortisol levels 400% higher than those in controls. Chronic users show heightened cortisol release in stressful environments and deficits in complex neurocognitive tasks. Event-related evoked response potential studies show altered patterns of brain activation, suggestive of increased mental effort, during basic information processing. Chronic mood deficits include more daily stress and higher depression in susceptible individuals. We conclude that ecstasy/MDMA increases cortisol levels acutely and subchronically and that changes in the HPA axis may explain why recreational ecstasy/MDMA users show various aspects of neuropsychobiological stress.

  14. Testosterone, cortisol and anxiety in elite field hockey players.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Raúl; Jiménez, Manuel; Alvero-Cruz, José R

    2013-07-02

    The aim of the present study was to assess the change in the levels of testosterone and cortisol after victory and defeat in male field hockey players during an important tournament. In the beginning of the game series, the players were ranked very closely to achieve (for the first time) the championship rising to The Honor Division-A, the highest status national category. The first game resulted in a 7-4 victory, the second game resulted in a 6-1 victory, and the third game resulted in a 1-2 defeat. As expected, there were changes in testosterone levels after the competition, dropping in the game which ended in defeat, and rising slightly in the two games which ended in victory; there were also changes in cortisol levels, rising in the game which ended in defeat, and showing no variations in the games which ended in victory; correlational analyses congruently showed that defeat led to rises in cortisol whereas victory led to rises in testosterone; anticipatory somatic anxiety was related to cortisol levels prior to games, and physical exertion during competition was related to the change in testosterone levels (suggesting an inhibitory effect) but not to the change in cortisol levels. Hence, this pattern of hormonal responses to a real-life dominance challenge complied with Mazur's (1985) [16] biosocial model of status and dominance motivation, by showing that testosterone and cortisol are linked to victory and defeat in a theoretically predictable fashion.

  15. Prostate Cancer, High Cortisol Levels and Complex Hormonal Interaction.

    PubMed

    Fabre, Bibiana; Grosman, Halina; Gonzalez, Diego; Machulsky, Nahuel Fernandez; Repetto, Esteban M; Mesch, Viviana; Lopez, Miguel Angel; Mazza, Osvaldo; Berg, Gabriela

    2016-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common diseases in men. It is important to assess prognostic factors and whether high cortisol levels and complex hormonal interactions could be responsible for PCa development. We evaluated the relationship between cortisol, leptin and estrogens in 141 men, 71 with PCa and the remaining 70 constituting a low risk group (LRG). They were recruited for this study from a total of 2906 middleaged men (ages 4570 years) who completed an evaluation for prostatic diseases at the Urology Division, Hospital de Clinicas "Jose de San Martin", University of Buenos Aires, in May 2009. In this cross sectional study, cortisol, PSA, totaltestosterone, freetestosterone, bioavailable testosterone, LH and estradiol were measured in serum. We observed increased cortisol levels in PCa patients as compared to LRG cases (p=0.004,). Leptin and estradiol levels were also higher in PCa patients (p=0.048; p<0.0001, respectively). Logistic regression analysis indicated that serum cortisol (OR: 1.110 (95% CI 1.0161.213), p=0.022), estradiol (OR: 1.044 (95% CI 1.0081.081), p=0.016) and leptin (OR: 1.248 (95% CI 1.0481.487), p=0.013) explained 27% of the variance of dependent variables, even after adjusting for age, smoking, BMI and waist circumference. We found increased cortisol levels in PCa patients as compared to LRG, as well as an altered circulating hormonal profile.

  16. Sleep and cortisol interact to support memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Bennion, Kelly A; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R; Kensinger, Elizabeth A; Payne, Jessica D

    2015-03-01

    Separate lines of research have demonstrated that rises in cortisol can benefit memory consolidation, as can the occurrence of sleep soon after encoding. For the first time, we demonstrate that pre-learning cortisol interacts with sleep to benefit memory consolidation, particularly for negative arousing items. Resting cortisol levels during encoding were positively correlated with subsequent memory, but only following a period of sleep. There was no such relation following a period of wakefulness. Using eye tracking, we further reveal that for negative stimuli, this facilitative effect may arise because cortisol strengthens the relationship between looking time at encoding and subsequent memory. We suggest that elevated cortisol may "tag" attended information as important to remember at the time of encoding, thus enabling sleep-based processes to optimally consolidate salient information in a selective manner. Neuroimaging data suggest that this optimized consolidation leads to a refinement of the neural processes recruited for successful retrieval of negative stimuli, with the retrieval of items attended in the presence of elevated cortisol and consolidated over a night of sleep associated with activity in the amygdala and vmPFC.

  17. Concerns Regarding Hair Cortisol as a Biomarker of Chronic Stress in Exercise and Sport Science

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, Markus; Brand, Serge; Lindwall, Magnus; Elliot, Catherine; Kalak, Nadeem; Herrmann, Christian; Pühse, Uwe; Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H.

    2012-01-01

    Hair cortisol has the potential to fill the methodological void of long-term cortisol assessment while becoming a widely accepted measure in biopsychology. This review critically examines the applicability and relevance of hair cortisol measurement specifically within the field of exercise and sport science. Current measures of the HPA axis only cover a brief time period, whereas hair cortisol is a unique, non-invasive means to capture long- term cortisol secretion. Studies have shown that individuals who have elevated cortisol secretion (e.g. due to diseases associated with a disturbed activation of the HPA axis or exposure to stressful life events) reveal increased hair cortisol. By contrast, only weak correlations exist between hair cortisol and perceived stress, and the direction of the relationship between hair cortisol levels and mental disorders is unclear. Acute exercise, however, results in increased levels of cortisol that eventually is reflected in higher levels of cortisol in hair samples and studies have shown that exercise intensity is related to hair cortisol level. Thus, elevated hair cortisol levels found among regular exercisers are not necessarily pathological. Thus, one should practice caution when associating athletes’ elevated hair cortisol with poor mental health or disease. Hair cortisol analysis can contribute to a more complete understanding of how long-term cortisol elevation mediates stress-related effects on the health and performance of recreational exercisers and elite athletes. Nevertheless, it is crucial for exercise and sport scientists to consider whether their research questions can be adequately addressed, given that regular intense exercise results in substantially augmented hair cortisol levels. Key points Hair cortisol is a unique, non-invasive and painless means to capture long-term cortisol secretion. Individuals expected to have elevated cortisol secretion (e.g. due to trauma) have increased hair cortisol. Preliminary

  18. Awakening from anesthesia using propofol or sevoflurane with epidural block in radical surgery for senile gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ling; Chen, Chen; Wang, Lin; Cheng, Gao; Wu, Wei-Wei; Li, Yuan-Hai

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To study the awakening of the elderly patients from propofol intravenous general anesthesia or sevoflurane inhalation general anesthesia combined with epidural block after radical gastric cancer surgery. Method: Eighty cases receiving selective radical surgery for gastric cancer were included. They were aged 65-78 years and classified as ASA grade I-II. Using a random number table, the cases were divided into 4 groups (n = 20): propofol intravenous general anesthesia (P group), sevoflurane inhalation general anesthesia (S group), propofol intravenous general anesthesia combined with epidural block (PE group), and sevoflurane inhalation general anesthesia combined with epidural block (SE group). For P and PE group, target controlled infusion of propofol was performed; for S and SE group, sevoflurane was inhaled to induce and maintain general anesthesia; for PE and SE group, before general anesthesia induction, epidural puncture and catheterization at T7-8 was performed. After surgery, perform patient controlled intravenous analgesia (PCIA) or patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA), and maintain VAS ≤ 3. The recorded indicators were as follows: time to recovery of spontaneous respiration, time to awakening, time of endotracheal tube removal, time to orientation, time to achieve modified Aldrete scores ≥ 9, modified OAA/S and Aldrete scores upon endotracheal tube removal (T1), 5 min after removal (T2), 15 min after removal (T3) and 30 min after removal (T4), dose of intraoperative remifentanil, intraoperative hypotension, and emergence agitation. Results: Time to awakening, time of endotracheal tube removal, time to orientation, and time to achieve modified Aldrete scores ≥ 9 in PE and SE group were obviously shortened compared with P and S group (P < 0.05); modified OAA/S and Aldrete scores at T1 and T2 in PE and SE group were significantly higher than those in P and S group (P < 0.05), and the scores of SE group at T1 were much higher compared

  19. Maternal Sensitivity and Infant Autonomic and Endocrine Stress Responses

    PubMed Central

    Enlow, Michelle Bosquet; King, Lucy; Schreier, Hannah; Howard, Jamie M.; Rosenfield, David; Ritz, Thomas; Wright, Rosalind J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Early environmental exposures may help shape the development of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, influencing vulnerability for health problems across the lifespan. Little is known about the role of maternal sensitivity in influencing the development of the ANS in early life. Aims To examine associations among maternal sensitivity and infant behavioral distress and ANS and HPA axis reactivity to the Repeated Still-Face Paradigm (SFP-R), a dyadic stress task. Study Design Observational repeated measures study. Subjects Thirty-five urban, sociodemographically diverse mothers and their 6-month-old infants. Outcome Measures Changes in infant affective distress, heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and T-wave amplitude (TWA) across episodes of the SFP-R were assessed. A measure of cortisol output (area under the curve) in the hour following cessation of the SFP-R was also obtained. Results Greater maternal insensitivity was associated with greater infant sympathetic activation (TWA) during periods of stress and tended to be associated with greater cortisol output following the SFP-R. There was also evidence for greater affective distress and less parasympathetic activation (RSA) during the SFP-R among infants of predominantly insensitive mothers. Conclusions Caregiving quality in early life may influence the responsiveness of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS as well as the HPA axis. Consideration of the ANS and HPA axis systems together provides a fuller representation of adaptive versus maladaptive stress responses. The findings highlight the importance of supporting high quality caregiving in the early years of life, which is likely to promote later health. PMID:24794304

  20. Early prenatal food supplementation ameliorates the negative association of maternal stress with birth size in a randomised trial.

    PubMed

    Frith, Amy L; Naved, Ruchira T; Persson, Lars Ake; Frongillo, Edward A

    2015-10-01

    Low birthweight increases the risk of infant mortality, morbidity and poor development. Maternal nutrition and stress influence birth size, but their combined effect is not known. We hypothesised that an early-invitation time to start a prenatal food supplementation programme could reduce the negative influence of prenatal maternal stress on birth size, and that effect would differ by infant sex. A cohort of 1041 pregnant women, who had delivered an infant, June 2003-March 2004, was sampled from among 3267 in the randomised controlled trial, Maternal Infant Nutritional Interventions Matlab, conducted in Matlab, Bangladesh. At 8 weeks gestation, women were randomly assigned an invitation to start food supplements (2.5 MJ d(-1) ; 6 days a week) either early (∼9 weeks gestation; early-invitation group) or at usual start time for the governmental programme (∼20 weeks gestation; usual-invitation group). Morning concentration of cortisol was measured from one saliva sample/woman at 28-32 weeks gestation to assess stress. Birth-size measurements for 90% of infants were collected within 4 days of birth. In a general linear model, there was an interaction between invitation time to start the food supplementation programme and cortisol with birthweight, length and head circumference of male infants, but not female infants. Among the usual-invitation group only, male infants whose mothers had higher prenatal cortisol weighed less than those whose mothers had lower prenatal cortisol. Prenatal food supplementation programmes that begin first trimester may support greater birth size of male infants despite high maternal stress where low birthweight is a public health concern.

  1. Maternal Early Life Experiences and Parenting: The Mediating Role of Cortisol and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez, Andrea; Jenkins, Jennifer M.; Steiner, Meir; Fleming, Alison S.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Research suggests that early life adversity may affect subsequent parenting. Animal studies investigating mechanisms of transmission have focused on biological factors; whereas research in humans has emphasized cognitive and psychosocial factors. We hypothesized that neuropsychological and physiological factors would act as mediators…

  2. Basal salivary cortisol secretion and susceptibility to upper respiratory infection.

    PubMed

    Janicki-Deverts, Denise; Cohen, Sheldon; Turner, Ronald B; Doyle, William J

    2016-03-01

    The immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoids (GCs) are well-established. However, whether the net effect of GC-elicited alterations in immune function is sufficient to influence a clinically relevant outcome in healthy adults has yet to be shown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether inter-individual differences in basal salivary cortisol production are associated with increased risk and severity of infection and subsequent illness following experimental exposure to a virus that causes the common cold. The present analyses combine archival data from three viral-challenge studies. Participants were 608 healthy adults, aged 18 to 55 years (49.2% female; 65.8% white), who each completed a three-day saliva collection protocol; was subsequently exposed to a virus that causes the common cold; and monitored for 5 days for objective signs of infection (presence of challenge virus in nasal secretions) and clinical illness (mucus weight, mucociliary clearance time). Basal cortisol production (operationalized as the calculated area-under-the-curve averaged across the 3 days) showed a graded association with infection risk, with those producing higher levels of cortisol being at greater risk. Cortisol also showed a continuous association with duration of viral shedding, an indicator of viral replication and continuing infection, such that higher cortisol concentrations predicted more days of shedding. Cortisol was not, however, related to severity of objective illness. These findings are the first to demonstrate in healthy adults an association between basal cortisol production and an objectively measured and clinically relevant infectious disease outcome.

  3. Cortisol levels and suicidal behavior: A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Daryl B; Ferguson, Eamonn; Green, Jessica A; O'Carroll, Ronan E; O'Connor, Rory C

    2016-01-01

    Suicide is a major cause of death worldwide, responsible for 1.5% of all mortality. The causes of suicidal behavior are not fully understood. Dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, as measured by cortisol levels, is one potential risk factor. This meta-analytic review aimed (i) to estimate the strength and variability of the association between naturally fluctuating cortisol levels and suicidal behavior and (ii) to identify moderators of this relationship. A systematic literature search identified 27 studies (N=2226; 779 suicide attempters and 1447 non-attempters) that met the study eligibility criteria from a total of 417 unique records initially examined. Estimates of effect sizes (r) obtained from these studies were analysed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis. In these analyses, we compared participants identified as having a past history of suicide attempt(s) to those