The response of circulating brain natriuretic peptide to academic stress in college students

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Amir, Offer, Sagiv, Moran, Eynon, Nir ORCID: 0000-0003-4046-8276, Yamin, Chen, Rogowski, Ori, Gerzy, Yishay and Amor, Ruthie E (2010) The response of circulating brain natriuretic peptide to academic stress in college students. Stress : the international journal on the biology of stress, 13 (1). pp. 83-90. ISSN 1025-3890 (print) 1607-8888 (online)


Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), a cardiac peptide, has been implicated in the regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary– adrenocortical (HPA) responses to psychological stressors. The influence of academic stress on circulating concentration of the N-terminal fragment of BNP precursor (NT-proBNP), and in relation to the stress hormone (cortisol) response was studied in 170 college students undergoing major examinations. Just prior to the examination, we measured self-estimated stress level, systolic, and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), heart rate (HR), plasma levels of cortisol, and NT-proBNP. These parameters were compared to the participants’ baseline measurements, taken at the same hour of a different ‘control day’, without a major examination to induce stress. Hemodynamic variables (SBP, DBP, and HR) increased on the examination day compared with baseline values ( p , 0.001). Circulating cortisol concentration increased before examinations (þ42%, p , 0.001). The response to stress was marked by a significant decrease in plasma NT-proBNP concentration (240%, p , 0.001). We found in males a significant interaction between the cortisol elevation with examination stress and the NT-proBNP reduction ( p ¼ 0.02). In response to academic stress, the plasma cortisol elevation was accompanied by a marked reduction in plasma NT-proBNP level. These data may indicate that mental stress entails an interface between the HPA axis and the peripheral natriuretic peptide system, leading to reciprocating changes in circulating levels of the corresponding hormones.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3109/10253890902818357
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1102 Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID25141, blood pressure, cortisol, emotional stress, heart, hypothalamic-pituitary–adrenocortical axis, natriuretic peptides, psychological stress, stress hormone, stressors, coronary artery disease
Citations in Scopus 9 - View on Scopus
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