Acute carbon dioxide exposure in healthy adults: Evaluation of a novel means of investigating the stress response

Joey Kaye, F. Buchanan, A. Kendrick, Philip Johnson, C. Lowry, J. Bailey, D. Nutt, S. Lightman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Acute hypercapnia was studied to assess its potential as a noninvasive and simple test for evoking neuroendocrine, cardiovascular and psychological responses to stress in man. A single breath of four concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), 5%, 25%, 35% and 50%, was administered to nine healthy volunteers in a randomized, single-blind fashion. Although no adverse effects occurred, most subjects were unable to take a full inspired vital capacity breath of 50% CO2. In response to the remaining exposures, subjective and somatic symptoms of anxiety increased in a dose-dependent manner. Unlike 5% and 25% CO 2, 35% CO2 stimulated significant adrenocorticotropic hormone and noradrenaline release at 2 min and cortisol and prolactin release at 15 min following inhalation. This same dose also provoked a significant bradycardia that was followed by an acute pressor response. No significant habituation of psychological, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) or cardiovascular responses following 35% CO2 was seen when this dose was repeated after 1 week. A single breath of 35% CO2 safely and reliably produced sympathetic and HPA axis activation and should prove a useful addition to currently available laboratory tests of the human stress response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Carbon Dioxide
Psychology
Hypercapnia
Vital Capacity
Carbon Monoxide
Bradycardia
Exercise Test
Prolactin
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Inhalation
Hydrocortisone
Norepinephrine
Healthy Volunteers
Anxiety
Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Keywords

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Catecholamines
  • Cortisol
  • HPA axis
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Acute carbon dioxide exposure in healthy adults : Evaluation of a novel means of investigating the stress response. / Kaye, Joey; Buchanan, F.; Kendrick, A.; Johnson, Philip; Lowry, C.; Bailey, J.; Nutt, D.; Lightman, S.

In: Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Vol. 16, No. 3, 03.2004, p. 256-264.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kaye, Joey ; Buchanan, F. ; Kendrick, A. ; Johnson, Philip ; Lowry, C. ; Bailey, J. ; Nutt, D. ; Lightman, S. / Acute carbon dioxide exposure in healthy adults : Evaluation of a novel means of investigating the stress response. In: Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 2004 ; Vol. 16, No. 3. pp. 256-264.
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