PloS one

Psychosocial Stress Increases Salivary Alpha-Amylase Activity Independently from Plasma Noradrenaline Levels.

PMID 26247781


Salivary alpha-amylase activity (sAA) and plasma noradrenaline (NA) concentrations are often considered to be surrogate markers of sympathetic activation in response to stress. However, despite accumulating evidence for a close association between sAA and noradrenaline and other indicators of sympathetic activity, reliability and generality of this relation remains unclear. We employed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in order to directly compare the responses in sAA and NA to psychological stress in healthy volunteers (n = 23). The TSST significantly increased sAA and NA plasma levels with no significant differences in females and males. However, when subjects were divided according to their NA responses into low versus high responders, both groups did not significantly differ in their sAA before, during or after stress exposure. These data suggest that in response to acute psychological stress both plasma NA levels and sAA reflect sympathetic activity, however seemed to increase independently from each other.