Salivary cortisol and DHEA reactivity to psychosocial stress in socially anxious males

Kentaro Shirotsuki*, Shuhei Izawa, Nagisa Sugaya, Kosuke Chris Yamada, Namiko Ogawa, Yuko Ouchi, Yuichiro Nagano, Shinobu Nomura

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of the present study was to examine Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity in social anxiety. The present study used a standardized psychosocial stress protocol (the Trier Social Stress Test; TSST; [Kirschbaum, C., Pirke, K.M., Hellhammer, D.H., 1993. The 'Trier Social Stress Test'-a tool for investigating psychobiological stress responses in a laboratory setting. Neuropsychobiology 28, 76-81.]) with 11 higher-social-anxiety and 11 lower-social-anxiety male college students. Psychological responses and salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reactivity and cortisol/DHEA ratio were assessed at seven different times. The results showed that there was a significantly lower cortisol responsiveness in the higher social anxiety group but there was no significant difference of DHEA responsiveness. Further analyses showed lower responses for the cortisol/DHEA ratio in the higher-social-anxiety group to the TSST. These results suggest that there may be reduced HPA axis reactivity to psychosocial stress in socially anxious people.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-203
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 May


    • Cortisol
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone
    • HPA axis
    • Social anxiety disorder
    • Trier Social Stress Test

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Neuroscience
    • Physiology (medical)
    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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