New Paper: HPA-axis and inflammatory reactivity to acute stress is related with basal HPA-axis activity

This paper, which is first authored by Xuejie Chen, a PhD advisee of Prof. Rohleder, reports results of one of the few studies testing relationships between acute stress responses and basal stress system activity. More specifically, we set out here to investigate whether so-called maladaptive response patterns to repeated acute stress, such as HPA axis non-habituation and sensitization of inflammatory protein responses in plasma, were related with maladaptive patterns of basal activity.

Results revealed that indeed, flatter diurnal cortisol slopes – considered a maladaptive pattern of basal HPA axis activity – was related with lesser HPA axis habituation and stronger interleukin-6 (IL-6) sensitization.

This is an important step in understanding the long-term health implications of acute stress responsiveness, and we will follow up in future studies with longitudinal designs to identify the direction of these relationships.


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