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The effect of shame on endothelial function: discussing potential mechanisms and future directions

Exp Physiol . 2023 Apr 5.


In their letter to the editor, Craig and colleagues discuss a paper that we recently published (McGarity-Shipley et al., 2022) in which we found that shame, a specific form of psychosocial stress, negatively impacted endothelial function but surprisingly did not elevate cortisol or the pro-inflammatory marker soluble tumour necrosis factor-α receptor 2 (sTNFαRII). To explain this phenomenon, Craig and colleagues hypothesize various alternative mechanisms that may underlie shame-related reductions in endothelial function such as increased levels of noradrenaline, adrenaline, angiotensin-II and β-endorphins. We thank Craig and colleagues for their interest in our research and, in response, we would like to comment on some of their postulates.

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