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Vaccine-induced inflammation attenuates the vascular responses to mental stress

International Journal of Psychophysiology
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.06.016
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha
  • Vascular Blood Flow
  • Mental Stress


Abstract Inflammation is associated with poorer vascular function, with evidence to suggest that inflammation can also impair the vascular responses to mental stress. This study examined the effects of vaccine-induced inflammation on vascular responses to mental stress in healthy participants. Eighteen male participants completed two stress sessions: an inflammation condition having received a typhoid vaccination and a control (non-inflamed) condition. Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha and Interleukin-6 (p’s<.001) increased following vaccination, confirming modest increases in inflammation. Mental stress increased blood flow, blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output in both conditions (all p’s<.001), but the blood flow response to stress was attenuated having received the vaccination compared to the control condition (p’s<.05). These results further implicate the interaction between inflammation and the vasculature as a mechanism through which stress may trigger myocardial infarction.

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