Acute restraint stress induces rapid and prolonged changes in erythrocyte and hippocampal redox status Academic Article uri icon


  • The onset and consequential changes in reduction-oxidation (redox) status that take place in response to short-term stress have not been well defined. This study utilized erythrocytes and neural tissue from male Wistar rats to demonstrate the rapid redox alterations that occur following an acute restraining stress. Serial blood samples collected from catheterized animals were used to measure prolactin, corticosterone, glucose, general oxidative status, and glutathione/glutathione disulfide ratios. Restraint increased prolactin concentration by approximately 300% at 30 min and rapidly returned to baseline values by 120 min of stress. Baseline blood glucose and corticosterone increased during stress exposure by approximately 25% and 150% respectively. Over the experimental period, the erythrocytic oxidative status of restrained animals increased by approximately 10% per hour which persisted after stress exposure, while changes in the glutathione redox couple were not observed until 120 min following the onset of stress. Application of restraint stress increased hippocampal oxidative status by approximately 17% while no change was observed in the amygdala. It was concluded that while endocrine and metabolic markers of stress rapidly increase and habituate to stress exposure, redox status continues to change following stress in both peripheral and neural tissue. Studies with longer post-restraint times and the inclusion of several brain regions should further elucidate the consequential redox changes induced by acute restraint stress.


  • Spiers, Jereme G
  • Chen, Hsiao-Jou
  • Bradley, Adrian J
  • Anderson, Stephen T
  • Sernia, Conrad
  • Lavidis, Nickolas A

publication date

  • 2013