The response of circulating brain natriuretic peptide to academic stress in college students

Offer Amir, Moran Sagiv, Nir Eynon, Chen Yamin, Ori Rogowski, Yishay Gerzy, Ruthie E. Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), a cardiac peptide, has been implicated in the regulation of hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenocortical (HPA) responses to psychological stressors. The influence of academic stress on circulating concentration of the N-terminal fragment of BNP precursor (NT-proBNP), and in relation to the stress hormone (cortisol) response was studied in 170 college students undergoing major examinations. Just prior to the examination, we measured self-estimated stress level, systolic, and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), heart rate (HR), plasma levels of cortisol, and NT-proBNP. These parameters were compared to the participants' baseline measurements, taken at the same hour of a different 'control day', without a major examination to induce stress. Hemodynamic variables (SBP, DBP, and HR) increased on the examination day compared with baseline values (p < 0.001). Circulating cortisol concentration increased before examinations (42%, p < 0.001). The response to stress was marked by a significant decrease in plasma NT-proBNP concentration (-40%, p < 0.001). We found in males a significant interaction between the cortisol elevation with examination stress and the NT-proBNP reduction (p 0.02). In response to academic stress, the plasma cortisol elevation was accompanied by a marked reduction in plasma NT-proBNP level. These data may indicate that mental stress entails an interface between the HPA axis and the peripheral natriuretic peptide system, leading to reciprocating changes in circulating levels of the corresponding hormones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Cortisol
  • Emotional stress
  • Heart
  • Hypothalamic- pituitaryadrenocortical axis
  • Natriuretic peptides


Dive into the research topics of 'The response of circulating brain natriuretic peptide to academic stress in college students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this