Sharpley, C. F. and Kauter, K. G. and McFarlane, J. R. (2009) An initial exploration of in vivo hair cortisol responses to a brief pain stressor: latency, localization and independence effects. Physiological Research, 58 (5). pp. 757-761. ISSN 0862-8408
Cortisol is secreted by the central hypothalamo- pituitary-adrenal axis and affects many target organs and issues, particularly in response to stressor demands and infections. Recent data reporting cortisol synthesis in hair follicles have shown the existence of a parallel 'peripheral' HPA-axis. However although there is evidence from in vitro studies and single-observation comparisons between groups that cortisol from hair follicles reflects endocrine changes associated with stressor demands, there are no reports to date of repeated measurements of in vivo cortisol responsivity in hair to transitory stressors. This issue was investigated with three males who underwent one minute cold pressor test (CP). Cortisol response in hair to stressor demand appears to be (a) swift but transitory, (b) localised to the site of the demand and (c) independent of central HPA-axis activity.
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