Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

LeGrande C. Ellis


LeGrande C. Ellis


Jim Gessaman


Ray Sanders


Lanny Nalder


Raghubir Sharma


A series of investigations were undertaken to determine whether physical or emotional stress, catecholamines or naloxone (B-endorphon blocker) would increase serum total cholesterol and LDL and HDL levels. Physical stress given daily over a period of time caused a steady increase in serum total cholesterol and LDL without a significantly altering high density lipoproteins (HDL) or serum triglycerides. Daily injections of epinerphrine in oil caused an increase in both serum total cholesterol and LDL levels while daily injections of norepinephrine did not. Reversal of the treatments caused a reversed response in both groups of rats. Similar increases in both total cholesterol and LDL levels occurred in graduate students during preparation for their comprehensive written or oral thesis/dissertation defense.

Injection of eigher dichloroisoproterenol (M.W. = 248) or naloxone (M.W. = 346) in rats prior to stress inhibited the increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels, although naloxone at the dosage given was more effective, possibly due to its larger molecular weight. When naloxone plus epinephrine was injected into non-stressed rats, there was a significant increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels, but the increase was not as great as that of groups injected with epinephrine only. Stressed, adrenalectomized rats exhibited higher cholesterol and LDL levels than the normal reported range for rats of their age and weight, but their levels did not differ from those of stressed, sham-operated rats indicating that the adrenals per se are not needed for stress-induced elevation of blood LDL levels.



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