Effects of psychological stress on plasma interleukins-1 beta and 6, C-reactive protein, tumour necrosis factor alpha, anti-diuretic hormone and serum cortisol

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1993 Oct;53(6):555-61.


The study was undertaken to determine whether psychological stress influences immunobiological functions and is an important preanalytical factor to be considered in connection with blood specimen collection. Two kinds of stress were applied, the Stroop colour conflict test and the thrill of a novice about to make the first jump with a parachute. In both test situations, the level of the stress indicators cortisol or anti-diuretic hormone rose significantly. The concentrations of the cytokines studied did not change significantly. However, in the parachute test significant positive correlations were found, e.g. between the changes of cortisol and C-reactive protein and between anti-diuretic hormone and interleukin-1 beta. This suggests that there is an interaction between the endocrine and the immune systems in the response to a psychological stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Color
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Stress, Psychological / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Vasopressins / blood*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vasopressins
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Hydrocortisone