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Helena Grauen Larsen

Research student

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Stress-induced release of the S100A8/A9 alarmin is elevated in coronary artery disease patients with impaired cortisol response


  • L. Jonasson
  • H. Grauen Larsen
  • A. K. Lundberg
  • B. Gullstrand
  • A. A. Bengtsson
  • A. Schiopu

Summary, in English

Psychological stress is thought to be an important trigger of cardiovascular events, yet the involved pathways and mediators are largely unknown. Elevated systemic levels of the pro-inflammatory alarmin S100A8/A9 correlate with poor prognosis in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. Here, we investigated the links between S100A8/A9 release and parameters of anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid secretion in two different cohorts subjected to a psychological stress test. In the first cohort of 60 CAD patients, psychological stress induced a rapid increase of circulating S100A8/A9. This rapid S100A8/A9 response strongly correlated with elevated evening saliva cortisol levels, suggesting an association with a dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In the second cohort of 27 CAD patients and 28 controls, elevated S100A8/A9 levels were still detectable 24 h after stress in 40% of patients and 36% of controls, with a tendency for higher levels in patients. The sustained S100A8/A9 response was associated with a poor rapid cortisol release after stress in patients, but not in the control group. Our findings reveal for the first time that acute psychological stress induces elevated levels of S100A8/A9. We also provide hypothesis-generating evidence that dysregulated cortisol secretion in CAD patients might be associated with an exaggerated pro-inflammatory S100A8/A9 response.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Lund SLE Research Group
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year





Scientific Reports





Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Lund SLE Research Group


  • ISSN: 2045-2322