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The influence of psychological stress on total serum protein and patterns obtained in serum protein electrophoresis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 1998

F. VAN HUNSEL
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
A. VAN GASTEL
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
H. NEELS
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
A. WAUTERS
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
P. DEMEDTS
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
K. BRUYLAND
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
I. DEMEESTER
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
S. SCHARPÉ
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
A. JANCA
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
C. SONG
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
M. MAES
Affiliation:
From the University Department of Psychiatry, AZ Stuivenberg, Laboratories of Clinical Biology, OCMW Hospitals and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA

Abstract

Background. Significant alterations in total serum protein (TSP) patterns obtained in serum protein electrophoresis and serum proteins have been reported in patients with major depression and in subjects submitted to a combination of psychological and physical stress. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of academic examination stress, on TSP and patterns obtained in serum protein electrophoresis.

Methods. TSP and the concentrations and percentages of the major electrophoretically separated serum proteins were measured in 41 healthy biomedical students the day before a difficult academic examination (i.e. the stressful condition), as well as a few weeks before and after the stressful condition (i.e. two baseline conditions).

Results. Academic examination stress increased TSP and the α1, α2, β and γ concentrations in stress-reactors, but not in stress non-reactors (as defined by changes in the Perceived Stress Scale). Academic examination stress reduced the percentage of albumin in the stress-reactors, but not in stress non-reactors. There were significant positive relationships between the stress-induced changes in TSP and serum α2, β and γ concentrations and the stress-induced changes in the Perceived Stress Scale.

Conclusions. The results show that even mild psychological stress of short duration can lead to measurable changes in TSP and in patterns obtained in serum protein electrophoresis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1998 Cambridge University Press

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