Metabonomic studies on the physiological effects of acute and chronic psychological stress in sprague-dawley rats

Claire R. Teague, Firdaus S. Dhabhar, Richard H. Barton, Bridgette Beckwith-Hall, Jonathan Powell, Mark Cobain, Burton Singer, Bruce S. McEwen, John C. Lindon, Jeremy K. Nicholson, Elaine Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The biochemical effects of acute and chronic psychological stress have been investigated in male Sprague-Dawley rats using a combination of 1H NMR spectral analysis of plasma and conventional hematological analyses. Animals were subjected to 35 consecutive days of 6-h sessions of stress, and following a 9 day break, were stressed for a further 6-h period. Plasma samples were collected at 0, 1, 3, and 6 h on days 1, 9, 21, 35, and 44, measured using 600 MHz 1H NMR spectroscopy, and analyzed by Principal Components Analysis. Time-dependent biochemical effects of psychological stress on a range of endogenous metabolites were evident and were correlated with the intensity of the stress response as defined by corticosterone and hematological parameters. Following acute stress, increases in the levels of glucose and ketone bodies, and decreases in the levels of acetate, alanine, isoleucine, lactate, leucine, valine, and lipoproteins, were observed. Chronic stress-induced increases in plasma levels of alanine, lactate (day 9), and leucine, valine, and choline (day 44) and decreases in acetate (day 9) and lipoprotein concentrations were observed. Positive correlations between plasma corticosterone level and glucose and glycerol, and between plasma lipoprotein concentrations and hemoglobin levels, were established using Projection to Latent Structures (PLS) analysis. This study indicates the potential of using NMR-based metabonomic strategies for the characterization of endogenous metabolic perturbations induced by psychological stressors and lifestyle choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2080-2093
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute stress
  • Allostasis
  • Chronic stress
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Hematology
  • Metabonomics
  • Metabotype
  • Multivariate analysis
  • NMR
  • Plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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