Hormonal control in a state of decreased activation: potentiation of arginine vasopressin secretion

Author: O'Halloran JP//Jevning R//Wilson AF//Skowsky R////
Conference/Journal: Physiol Behav
Date published: 1985
Other: Volume ID: 35 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 591-5 , Word Count: 208

Behaviorally induced stress is associated with increased arginine vasopressin (AVP) secretion. In this report we describe a phasic conditioned response of AVP secretion yielding 2.6-7.1 times normal plasma concentration of this hormone in association with a physiological state of decreased activation, that associated with the mental technique of 'transcendental meditation' (TM) in long-term practitioners (6-8 years of regular elicitation). Such a very large phasic response of AVP was previously unknown in the normal physiology of AVP. This elevation was not accompanied by elevation of plasma osmolality. Unstylized ordinary eyes closed rest in a separate group of subjects studied in the same manner was associated with normal plasma AVP concentration. Galvanic skin resistance (GSR) increased during both TM and rest with significantly larger increase associated with TM. Other measures of activation, including muscle metabolism, and the Spielberger Anxiety Inventory indicated marked relaxation in association with TM. In previous research it has been shown that blood pressure does not change acutely during this behavior. These observations indicate that neither stress nor operation of other usual homeostatic control mechanisms are responsible for elevated for AVP in the meditators. It is speculated that the apparently unique mechanism of TM-induced AVP secretion may be more specifically related to the behavioral effects of meditation.