Carnegie Mellon University

Biological Pathways

In addition to measures related to the assessment of infection and colds, the 5 studies included numerous other biological measurements that were taken at baseline (i.e, pre-viral challenge).  While not all measures were included in each study, many variables were assessed in two or more.  Examples of such assessments include screening measures used to verify study eligibility (e.g., complete blood cell counts, HIV seropositivity), anthropometric measures, and assessments of basal cardiovascular and endocrine activity.  The table below lists all of the baseline biological measures that were collected across the 5 studies and identifies which studies included each measure.  More detailed information on how each biological variable was assessed can be obtained by clicking on the name of the specific measure.

Category Measure BCS  PCS1 PCS2 PMBC PCS3
Anthropometry Height, weight, waist circumference, etc.
Biological Aging Lymphocyte telomere length*
ENT Measures
     Nasal exam Gross mucosal pathology, physician report
     Ear exam
Middle ear pressure
Genotyping Polymorphisms relevant to inflammation and sympathetic & HPA response     
Handedness Study questionnaire
     Functional Glucocorticoid resistance*     ✔ 
     Functional Latent virus infection*
     Functional Natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity   
     Functional Local (nasal) cytokine response to challenge
     Functional Local (nasal) bradykinin response to challenge
     Functional Stimulated cytokine production  
     Quantitative Lymphocyte subsets
Resting Biological Activity
     Cardiovascular Blood pressure and heart rate (baseline and post-challenge) ✔ 
     Cardiovascular Heart rate variability
     Endocrine Catecholamines, 24-hour urine
     Endocrine Cortisol, 24-hour urine
     Endocrine Cortisol, hair*
     Endocrine Cortisol, plasma
     Endocrine Cortisol, salivary
     Endocrine Creatinine, 24-hour urine
     Metabolic Body temperature (baseline & post-challenge)
     Metabolic Total cholesterol
     Oxidative Stress F2-isoprostanes, urine
Antibody to challenge virus
Blood chemistry
CBC w/platelets & differential
HIV antibody
Pregnancy test
Screen for pre-challenge infection with nonspecific respiratory viruses
Viral-specific neutralizing serum Ab
Stress Reactivity
     Cardiovascular Blood pressure
     Cardiovascular Heart rate
     Cardiovascular Heart rate variability
     Endocrine Cortisol, salivary
* Measured in a subsample of participants