Distinct CCL2, CCL5, CCL11, CCL27, IL-17, IL-6, BDNF serum profiles correlate to different job-stress outcomes

Alessio Polacchini, Damiano Girardi, Alessandra Falco, Nunzia Zanotta, Manola Comar, Nicola Alberto De Carlo, Enrico Tongiorgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic psychosocial stress at workplace is an important factor in the development of physical and mental illness. Objective biological measures of chronic stress are still lacking, but inflammatory response and growth factors are increasingly considered as potential stress biomarkers. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between psychophysical strain and serum levels of 48 chemokines, cytokines and growth factors measured using a multiplex immunoassay, and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) measured by ELISA. Severity of psychophysical strain was scored in 115 healthy hospital workers using specific scales for anxiety, depression-like emotion, gastrointestinal or cardiac disturbances, and ergonomic dysfunction. Multivariate analysis revealed that higher anxiety scale scores were correlated with lower serum chemokine C-C motif ligand-2 (CCL2/MCP-1), chemokine C-C motif ligand-5 (CCL5/RANTES), chemokine C-C motif ligand-27 (CCL27/CTACK), chemokine C-C motif ligand-11 (CCL11/Eotaxin) and interleukin-6 (IL-6); gastrointestinal disturbances correlated with increased levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and reduced CCL11/Eotaxin, CCL27/CTACK and CCL2/MCP-1; while cardiac dysfunctions associate only to reduced CCL27/CTACK, and ergonomic dysfunction correlated with increased BDNF and reduced CCL11/Eotaxin and CCL5/RANTES. Thus, these 7 serum factors may provide a distinct signature for each different stress-related psychophysical outcome giving indications on individual vulnerabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Stress
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Biomarkers, chemokines
  • Chronic stress
  • Growth factors
  • Interleukines, neurotrophic factors
  • Multiplex immunoassay
  • Psychophysical strain
  • Serum proteomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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