Gonadal Hormones and Heart Rate as an Acute Emotional Stress Response

  • W. S. de Loos
  • B. Bonus
  • W. De Jong
  • D. De Wied
Conference paper


Elevated blood pressure without known organic cause is a condition strongly influenced by psychosocial factors1,2,3. Women during the reproductive period of life generally have lower blood pressures4 and a lower incidence of essential hypertension5. A modulating role has been ascribed to the female sex hormones. An hypothesis that oestrogens and/or progestagens are responsible for the reduction of the impact of psychosocial stimuli on normal blood pressure regulation in women has been supported by human psychophysiological experiments6. In our studies we have tried to elucidate the role of gonadal hormone production and the differential effects of oestradiol and progesterone in the laboratory rat. We have chosen heart rate as a sensitive cardiovascular parameter of acute emotional responsiveness during a standardized laboratory procedure of environmental non-physical threat.


Passive Avoidance Heart Rate Response Gonadal Hormone Oestradiol Benzo Intact Male 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. S. de Loos
    • 1
  • B. Bonus
    • 1
  • W. De Jong
    • 1
  • D. De Wied
    • 1
  1. 1.Rudolf Magnus Institute of PharmacologyUtrecht State UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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