Salivary cortisol and DHEA reactivity to psychosocial stress in socially anxious males

Kentaro Shirotsuki, Shuhei Izawa, Nagisa Sugaya, Kosuke Chris Yamada, Namiko Ogawa, Yuko Ouchi, Yuichiro Nagano, Shinobu Nomura

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    49 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of the present study was to examine Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity in social anxiety. The present study used a standardized psychosocial stress protocol (the Trier Social Stress Test; TSST; [Kirschbaum, C., Pirke, K.M., Hellhammer, D.H., 1993. The 'Trier Social Stress Test'-a tool for investigating psychobiological stress responses in a laboratory setting. Neuropsychobiology 28, 76-81.]) with 11 higher-social-anxiety and 11 lower-social-anxiety male college students. Psychological responses and salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reactivity and cortisol/DHEA ratio were assessed at seven different times. The results showed that there was a significantly lower cortisol responsiveness in the higher social anxiety group but there was no significant difference of DHEA responsiveness. Further analyses showed lower responses for the cortisol/DHEA ratio in the higher-social-anxiety group to the TSST. These results suggest that there may be reduced HPA axis reactivity to psychosocial stress in socially anxious people.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-203
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 May


    • Cortisol
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone
    • HPA axis
    • Social anxiety disorder
    • Trier Social Stress Test

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Physiology (medical)
    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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