Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Psychosocial stress-induced activation of salivary alpha-amylase: an indicator of sympathetic activity?


Rohleder, Nicolas; Nater, Urs M; Wolf, Jutta M; Ehlert, Ulrike; Kirschbaum, Clemens (2004). Psychosocial stress-induced activation of salivary alpha-amylase: an indicator of sympathetic activity? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1032:258-263.

Abstract

Assessment of sympathoadrenal medullary system (SAM) activity is only possible to date via measurement of catecholamines in blood plasma or via electrophysiological methods. Both ways of measurement are restricted to endocrinological or psychophysiological laboratories, as both require either immediate freezing of blood samples or complex recording devices. Efforts have therefore been undertaken to find a method comparable to salivary cortisol measurements, in which noninvasive samples can be taken at any place and stored at room temperature for sufficient time before later analysis in the laboratory. Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) is a candidate that may prove useful in this context. We show here that sAA activity is increased by acute psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test) and that increases in sAA correlate with increases in norepinephrine. We further report that sAA exhibits a stable circadian pattern that mirrors that of salivary cortisol. In conclusion, the current data show that salivary alpha-amylase may serve as an easy-to-use index for SAM activity. However, some questions remain to be answered; for example, what impact does salivary flow rate exert on stress-induced sAA activity?

Abstract

Assessment of sympathoadrenal medullary system (SAM) activity is only possible to date via measurement of catecholamines in blood plasma or via electrophysiological methods. Both ways of measurement are restricted to endocrinological or psychophysiological laboratories, as both require either immediate freezing of blood samples or complex recording devices. Efforts have therefore been undertaken to find a method comparable to salivary cortisol measurements, in which noninvasive samples can be taken at any place and stored at room temperature for sufficient time before later analysis in the laboratory. Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) is a candidate that may prove useful in this context. We show here that sAA activity is increased by acute psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test) and that increases in sAA correlate with increases in norepinephrine. We further report that sAA exhibits a stable circadian pattern that mirrors that of salivary cortisol. In conclusion, the current data show that salivary alpha-amylase may serve as an easy-to-use index for SAM activity. However, some questions remain to be answered; for example, what impact does salivary flow rate exert on stress-induced sAA activity?

Statistics

Citations

245 citations in Web of Science®
273 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2004
Deposited On:15 Oct 2012 14:19
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 15:18
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0077-8923
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1314.033
PubMed ID:15677423

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher