Proteomic and metabolomic profiling of acute and chronic stress events associated with military exercises†
By characterizing physiological changes that occur in warfighters during simulated combat, we can start to unravel the key biomolecular components that are linked to physical and cognitive performance. Viable field-based sensors for the warfighter must be rapid and noninvasive. In an effort to facilitate this, we applied a multiomics pipeline to characterize the stress response in the saliva of warfighters to correlate biomolecular changes with overall performance and health. In this study, two different stress models were observed – one of chronic stress and one of acute stress. In both models, significant perturbations in the immune, metabolic, and protein manufacturing/processing systems were observed. However, when differentiating between stress models, specific metabolites associated with the “fight or flight” response and protein folding were seen to be discriminate of the acute stress model.