Published:  2014-09-01

Vaccine-induced inflammation attenuates the vascular responses to mental stress

Authors:  Nicola J. Paine, Christopher Ring, Jos A. Bosch, Mark T. Drayson, Sarah Aldred, Jet J. C. S. Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Tags:  Inflammation, Interleukin-6, Mental stress, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Vascular blood flow

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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.