The relationship between hostility and beta-adrenergic receptor physiology in health young males.
OBJECTIVE: We examined the relationship between hostility and mononuclear leukocyte (MNL) beta-adrenergic receptor function in a sample of young healthy males. METHOD: Thirty subjects were selected for having scored above 20 (N = 11) and below 14 (N = 19) on the Cook-Medley Hostility (Ho) scale. MNL beta-adrenergic receptor function was characterized in terms of receptor density (Bmax) and ligand-binding affinity (Kd) in homogenized cells, and intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responses to saline, isoproterenol, and forskolin in whole cells. Subjects also completed the Multidimensional Anger Inventory (MAI), which assesses dimensions of anger. RESULTS: Relative to men with low Ho scores, men with Ho scores above 20 showed lower receptor number and greater forskolin-stimulated cAMP. Moreover, high hostile men reported a greater frequency of anger, longer duration of anger, more frequent brooding, and a hostile outlook. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that adrenergic receptor down-regulation is associated with hostility. This association may be linked to hostile persons' propensity for excessive and prolonged neuroendocrine responses to either psychological stressors or the experience of chronic stress associated with frequent and prolonged bouts of anger.
Suarez, EC; Shiller, AD; Kuhn, CM; Schanberg, S; Williams, RB; Zimmermann, EA
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