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Short-term estradiol treatment enhances pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic responses to psychosocial stress in healthy young men

Kirschbaum, C. and Schommer, N. and Federenko, I. and Gaab, Jens and Neumann, O. and Oellers, M. and Rohleder, N. and Untiedt, A. and Hanker, J. and Pirke, K. M. and Hellhammer, D. H.. (1996) Short-term estradiol treatment enhances pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic responses to psychosocial stress in healthy young men. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 81 (10). pp. 3639-3643.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/46431/

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Abstract

Evidence from animal studies and clinical observations suggest that the activity of the pituitary-adrenal axis is under significant influence of sex steroids. The present study investigated how a short term elevation of estradiol levels affects ACTH, cortisol, norepinephrine, and heart rate responses to mental stress in healthy men. In a double blind study, 16 men received a patch delivering 0.1 mg estradiol/day transdermally, and age- and body mass index-matched control subjects received a placebo patch. Twenty-four to 48 h later, they were exposed to a brief psychosocial stressor (free speech and mental arithmetic in front of an audience). In response to the psychosocial stressor, ACTH, cortisol, norepinephrine, and heart rate were increased in both experimental groups (all P < 0.0001). However, the estradiol-treated subjects showed exaggerated peak ACTH (P < 0.001) and cortisol (P < 0.002) responses compared to the placebo group. Also, the norepinephrine area under the response curve was greater in the estradiol group (P < 0.05). Although heart rate responses differences failed to reach statistical significance, they, too, tended to be larger in the estradiol group. Neither mood ratings before or after the stressor, nor ratings of the perception of the stressor could explain the observed endocrine response differences. In conclusion, short term estradiol administration resulted in hyperresponses of the pituitary-adrenal axis and norepinephrine to psychosocial stress in healthy young men independent of psychological effects, as assessed in this study.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Gaab)
UniBasel Contributors:Gaab, Jens
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0021-972X
e-ISSN:1945-7197
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:10 Nov 2017 10:35
Deposited On:10 Nov 2017 10:35

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