Stress exhibits adverse effects on many vital processes in which glycoproteins play a significant role(e.g. cell-cell/matrix interactions, immune response, neoplastic growth, implantation, prenatal development), yet only scarce attention has been directed towards studying stress induced changes in glycoprotein patterns. Using SDS-electrophoresis, blotting and digoxigenin-labelled lectins (Sambucus nigra agglutinin, Galanthus nivalis agglutinin, Datura stramonium agglutinin, Maackia amurensis agglutinin and peanut (Arachis hypogaea) agglutinin),sera were analysed from 30 individuals chosen randomly from a severely stressed population of 309 male volunteers with no specific medical symptoms. Significant changes were found in glycoprotein pattern and content, compared with healthy controls of matching age and sex. Occasionally minor non-specific deviations from the reference values for several analytes (haemoglobin, glucose, bilirubin and alanine aminotransferase) were detected in the tested group, but glycoprotein GP4S (Mr = 45 000), detected by Datura stramonium agglutinin and Sambucus nigra agglutinin, appeared in 96.7% of samples of the stressed population. The same population also revealed an approximately 500-fold increase of GP37 in comparison with the control sera. These results suggest that stress, as a non-specific syndrome, induces specific biochemical changes, which could be of diagnostic relevance as risk makers before any more serious symptoms of stress-related consequences have developed.