Centrifugal acceleration to 3Gz is related to increased release of stress hormones and decreased mood in men and women

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It has been suggested that the central and peripheral neural processes (CPNP) are affected by gravitational changes. Based on the previous experiments during parabolic flights, central and peripheral changes may not only be due to the changed gravitational forces but also due to neuroendocrine reactions related to the psycho-physiological consequences of gravitational changes. The present study focuses on the interaction of neuroendocrine changes and the physical and mental states after acceleration to three-time terrestrial gravity (3Gz). Eleven participants (29.4+/-5.1 [SD] years (male (n=8): 30+/-5.1 years; female (n=3): 27.7+/-2.1 years) underwent a 15 min acceleration to 3Gz in a human centrifuge. Before and after the acceleration to 3Gz circulating stress hormone concentrations (cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), prolactin, epinephrine, norepinephrine) and perceived physical and mental states were recorded. A second control group of 11 participants underwent the same testing procedure in a laboratory session. Serum cortisol concentration during exposure to the centrifugal acceleration increased by 70%, plasma concentration of ACTH increased threefold, prolactin twofold, epinephrine by 70% and norepinephrine by 45%, whereas the perceived physical well-being decreased. These findings demonstrate that psycho-physiological changes have to be regarded as a relevant factor for the changes in CPNP during phases of hypergravity exposure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2008

ID: 34164

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