Plasma endothelin-1 release during acute stress: Role of ethnicity and sex

Frank A. Treiber, Gaston K. Kapuku, Harry Davis, Jennifer S. Pollock, David M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purposes of this study were to examine possible ethnic and sex differences in plasma ET-1 levels at rest and in response to acute stress and to examine relationships between ET-1 and vasoconstrictive-mediated BP reactivity to stress. Methods: Two hundred twenty-two adolescents (mean age = 18.5 ± 2.8 years; 130 [70 males] EAs and 92 [48 males] AAs) completed two stressors (video game, forehead cold). Hemodynamic measures and blood samples were collected at catheter insertion and before and immediately after the two stressors, separated by 20-minute rest periods. Results: AAs and males exhibited higher levels of SBP and DBP and of TPRI and ET-1 at each sampling point compared with EAs and females, respectively (p values < .001). AAs and males exhibited greater increases in SBP, TPRI, and ET-1 in response to each stressor (p values < .05). Intraindividual correlations between ET-1 and hemodynamic parameters revealed that most individuals exhibited a positive association between ET-1, BP, and TPRI. However, some individuals exhibited a negative association between ET-1 and the above-mentioned hemodynamics, suggesting a compensatory vasodilation mechanism. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate significant sex and ethnicity differences in stress-induced vasoconstrictive peptide release and support the hypothesis that these differences may be important in explaining the ethnicity and sex differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-713
Number of pages7
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • ET-1
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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