Exhaled nitric oxide and vascular endothelial growth factor as predictors of cold symptoms after stress

Thomas Ritz, Ana F. Trueba, Pia D. Vogel, Richard J. Auchus, David Rosenfield

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

11 Citas (Scopus)


Objective Prior research has demonstrated that psychosocial stress is associated with respiratory infections. Immunologic, endocrine, and cardiovascular predictors of such infections have been explored with varying success. We therefore sought to study the unexplored role of airway mucosal immunity factors, nitric oxide (NO) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). NO is secreted by airway epithelial cells as part of the first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. VEGF is expressed by mast cells in respiratory infections and recruits immune cells to infected sites, but in excess lead to vulnerability of the airway epithelium. Methods In this proof-of-concept study we measured exhaled NO, exhaled breath condensate (EBC) VEGF, salivary VEGF, and salivary cortisol in 36 students undergoing final academic examinations at three occasions: a low-stress baseline during the term, an early phase of finals, and a late phase of finals. Participants also reported on cold symptoms at these time points and approximately 5 and 10 days after their last academic examination. Results Higher baseline NO was associated with fewer cold symptoms after stress, whereas higher baseline VEGF in EBC and saliva were associated with more cold symptoms after stress. Perceived stress at baseline as well as salivary VEGF and cortisol late in the finals also contributed to the prediction of later cold symptoms. Conclusion Basal levels of NO and VEGF may inform about mucosal immunocompetence and add to preventative treatments against airway infections from periods of stress in daily life.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)116-124
Número de páginas9
PublicaciónBiological Psychology
EstadoPublicada - feb. 2018


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