9th multidisciplinary international

Conference of Biological Psychiatry

«Stress and Behavior»

Proceedings of the 9th International Multidisciplinary Conference «Stress and behavior» Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 16-19 May 2005 Editor: Allan V. Kalueff, PhD



E.S. Afanasieva, V.F. Bezrukov Taras Shevchenko National University, Kiev, Ukraine Anxiety, an emotional state of fear and uncertainty, measuring sensitivity of human's organism to stressful conditions, can be personal (constant) and reactive (situational, variable) (Kalueff, 1998). However, relatively constant levels of personal anxiety may become very variable under drastic and long-term changes in environmental conditions (e.g., fluctuations of meteorological conditions, fast and atypical changes of seasons and time zones, staying in small isolated group, etc). Altered personal and reactive anxiety may affect genome instability and increase or decrease chromosomal aberrations. Consequently, the aim of this study was to assess the levels of personal and reactive anxiety of participants of Trans-Atlantic (TA) expedition, and compare their dynamics with alteration in genome stability.

Methods. Subjects were participants of TA expedition (7th Ukrainian Antarctic expedition): 12 scientists (men) aged 30—50, sailing Sevastopol — Antarctic station «Academic Vernadsky» — Sevastopol, between December 2001 and May 2002. The subjects underwent Spilberger's test every 10 days (14 times per expedition). In addition, buccal cells from each person were collected every 10 days, and analyzed by (Fenech, 2000).

Results and discussion. The average rate of the personal anxiety of the examined group during the expedition was 39.19±0.21, defined as mild (min 38.00, max 41.25, disp. 0.6). The variability of personal anxiety was low, as assessed by dispersion. Personal anxiety was minimal during the group's return from expedition to Sevastopol, and maximal during fieldwork at the Antarctic station. In general, the dynamics of personal anxiety was non-significant, with two peaks observed (first between arrival to Antarctic station and the middle of the fieldwork; second during the way home). These peaks may be caused by specific working conditions at the station and by the peculiarities of the return from the Antarctic to the Ukraine. The average reactive anxiety level during the expedition was 20.81 ± 0.48 (min 17.33, max 23.92, disp. 3.23), defined as low levels. The maximal rates of personal and reactive anxiety were observed in March, 2002 during the fieldwork at the Antarctic station. Three other personal anxiety peaks were observed, but only two were robust, and synchronized with peaks of reactive anxiety. The rate of reactive anxiety was more variable, than that of personal anxiety. This difference can be explained by relatively constant personal anxiety in the changing environmental conditions. As mentioned above, the alterations of the levels of anxiety may influence on the level of genome stability. The estimation of the micronuclei frequencies as the one of parameters of genome instability aimed to establish the influence of anxiety on genome stability. The average level of micronuclei was 2.20 ± 0.15%o, and is within the general population limits (Tolbert et al., 1992). The significant correlation between dynamics of micronuclei frequency and anxiety changes was not detected. The main tendencies of this correlation and possible mechanisms of influence of stressful conditions on human genome will be discussed.

Psychopharmacol. Biol. Narcol. 2005. Vol. 5, N 2. P. 907-908

Psyhopharmacology & biological narcology

ISSN 1606-8181