ERIC Number: EJ756284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
A Laboratory Exercise to Illustrate Increased Salivary Cortisol in Response to Three Stressful Conditions Using Competitive ELISA
Haussmann, Mark F.; Vleck, Carol M; Farrar, Eugenia S.
Advances in Physiology Education, v31 n1 p110-115 Mar 2007
Perceived stress activates the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in the release of glucocorticoids into the systemic circulation. Glucocorticoids cause the elevation of blood glucose, providing the necessary energy for the organism to cope with stress. Here, we outline a laboratory exercise that uses a competitive ELISA kit to illustrate the response of salivary cortisol concentrations to three stressful conditions. Twelve undergraduate students in the General and Comparative Endocrinology course at Iowa State University were subjected to presentation stress, fasting stress, and competition stress to determine their effect on salivary cortisol concentrations. Students had elevated salivary cortisol in response to each of these stresses compared with basal conditions. These results reiterate the importance of glucocorticoids as mediators of the stress response. This study also incorporates the use of the ELISA technique, a modern laboratory tool used to determine the amount of endogenous antigens in plasma or saliva. This laboratory exercise can easily be adapted to fit into already existing physiology and endocrinology curriculums.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Science Laboratories, Physiology, Stress Variables, Higher Education, College Science, Science Instruction, Science Education, Metabolism, Responses, Laboratory Experiments, Human Body
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A