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Endocannabinoid reactivity to acute stress: investigation of the relationship between salivary and plasma levels

Ney, L, Stone, Caleb, Nichols, D ORCID: 0000-0002-8066-3132, Felmingham, K, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X and Matthews, A ORCID: 0000-0003-2961-9125 2021 , 'Endocannabinoid reactivity to acute stress: investigation of the relationship between salivary and plasma levels' , Biological Psychology, vol. 159 , doi:

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The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system has been shown in animal models to regulate the initiation andtermination of central nervous responses to stress. In human studies, the role of peripherally measured eCBs ismuch less clear and the effect in salivary eCBs has not been studied. In this study, we use a novel method toquantify cortisol and eCBs arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) in humansaliva, as well as in plasma samples. Forty-five females and 32 males completed a mixed physiological/psychosocialstress-induction study where saliva, and blood samples in males, were collected at baseline, immediatelyfollowing, 30-minutes following, and 45-minutes following stress induction. Cortisol significantly increasedafter stress, but there were sex differences in the cortisol response to stress, with females having higher cortisolafter stress compared to males. There was a significant increase in salivary levels of 2-AG immediately followingstress induction, but no effect of AEA. Salivary AEA was higher in males compared to females. Surprisingly, therewas no effect of stress on plasma AEA or 2-AG levels in the male cohort, though small effect sizes for 2-AG wereobserved, which is consistent with most other human literature. This study is the first to show that the eCBsystem is active in human saliva and is responsive to acute stress, possibly as part of the sympathetic nervoussystem response.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ney, L and Stone, Caleb and Nichols, D and Felmingham, K and Bruno, R and Matthews, A
Keywords: sex differences, endocannabinoid, stress, saliva, cortisol, anxiety, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, arachidonoyl ethanolamide
Journal or Publication Title: Biological Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0301-0511
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V

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