An increase in salivary interleukin-6 level following acute psychosocial stress and its biological correlates in healthy young adults

Shuhei Izawa, Nagisa Sugaya, Kenta Kimura, Namiko Ogawa, Kosuke C. Yamada, Kentaro Shirotsuki, Ikuyo Mikami, Kanako Hirata, Yuichiro Nagano, Shinobu Nomura

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    36 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Although interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been investigated frequently in stress research, knowledge regarding the biological processes of IL-6 in association with psychosocial stress remains incomplete. This study focused on salivary IL-6 and reports its temporal variation and biological correlates following acute psychosocial stress. Fifty healthy young adults (39 male and 11 female students) were subjected to the psychosocial stress test 'Trier Social Stress Test' (TSST), wherein the participants were asked to deliver a speech and perform a mental arithmetic task in front of 2 audiences. Collection of saliva samples, measurement of heart rate, and assessment of negative moods by visual analogue scales were conducted before, during, and after TSST. Salivary IL-6 levels increased by approximately 50% in response to the TSST and remained elevated for 20. min after the stress tasks were completed. Cluster analyses revealed that individuals with sustained elevation of IL-6 levels following the TSST exhibited a lower cortisol response compared to indivwith lower IL-6 levels. In the correlation analyses, a greater IL-6 response was associated with a higher heart rate during the mental arithmetic task (r=351, p<.05) and with a lower cortisol response (r=.302, p<.05). This study demonstrates that salivary IL-6 levels are elevated for a relatively long period following acute psychosocial stress, and suggests that sympathetic activity and cortisol secretion are involved in elevation of salivary IL-6 levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-254
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiological Psychology
    Volume94
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct

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    Keywords

    • Cortisol
    • Heart rate
    • Interleukin-6
    • Psychosocial stress
    • Saliva

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

    Cite this

    Izawa, S., Sugaya, N., Kimura, K., Ogawa, N., Yamada, K. C., Shirotsuki, K., Mikami, I., Hirata, K., Nagano, Y., & Nomura, S. (2013). An increase in salivary interleukin-6 level following acute psychosocial stress and its biological correlates in healthy young adults. Biological Psychology, 94(2), 249-254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.06.006