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Behavioral responses to catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa and healthy subjects.
Biol Psychiatry 2015; 77(7):661-7BP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Bulimia nervosa (BN) has been associated with dysregulation of the central catecholaminergic system. An instructive way to investigate the relationship between catecholaminergic function and psychiatric disorder has involved behavioral responses to experimental catecholamine depletion (CD). The purpose of this study was to examine a possible catecholaminergic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of bulimia nervosa.

METHODS

CD was achieved by oral administration of alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (AMPT) in 18 remitted female subjects with BN (rBN) and 31 healthy female control subjects. The study design consisted of a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled crossover, single-site experimental trial. The main outcome measures were bulimic symptoms assessed by the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire. Measures were assessed before and 26, 30, 54, 78, 102 hours after the first AMPT or placebo administration.

RESULTS

In the experimental environment (controlled environment with a low level of food cues) rBN subjects had a greater increase in eating disorder symptoms during CD compared with healthy control subjects (condition × diagnosis interaction, p < .05). In the experimental environment, rBN subjects experienced fewer bulimic symptoms than in the natural environment (uncontrolled environment concerning food cues) 36 hours after the first AMPT intake (environment × diagnosis interaction, p < .05). Serum prolactin levels increased significantly, and to a comparable degree across groups, after AMPT administration.

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggests that rBN is associated with vulnerability for developing eating disorder symptoms in response to reduced catecholamine neurotransmission after CD. The findings support the notion of catecholaminergic dysfunction as a possible trait abnormality in BN.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (SG, LG, HM, GM, US), University Hospital. Electronic address: simona.grob@bluewin.ch.Collegium Helveticum (JS), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and University of Zurich, Zurich.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (SG, LG, HM, GM, US), University Hospital.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (SG, LG, HM, GM, US), University Hospital.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (SG, LG, HM, GM, US), University Hospital.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (SG, LG, HM, GM, US), University Hospital.Psychiatric University Hospital (GH), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24209774

Citation

Grob, Simona, et al. "Behavioral Responses to Catecholamine Depletion in Unmedicated, Remitted Subjects With Bulimia Nervosa and Healthy Subjects." Biological Psychiatry, vol. 77, no. 7, 2015, pp. 661-7.
Grob S, Stern J, Gamper L, et al. Behavioral responses to catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa and healthy subjects. Biol Psychiatry. 2015;77(7):661-7.
Grob, S., Stern, J., Gamper, L., Moergeli, H., Milos, G., Schnyder, U., & Hasler, G. (2015). Behavioral responses to catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa and healthy subjects. Biological Psychiatry, 77(7), pp. 661-7. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.09.013.
Grob S, et al. Behavioral Responses to Catecholamine Depletion in Unmedicated, Remitted Subjects With Bulimia Nervosa and Healthy Subjects. Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Apr 1;77(7):661-7. PubMed PMID: 24209774.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Behavioral responses to catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa and healthy subjects. AU - Grob,Simona, AU - Stern,Jair, AU - Gamper,Lara, AU - Moergeli,Hanspeter, AU - Milos,Gabriella, AU - Schnyder,Ulrich, AU - Hasler,Gregor, Y1 - 2013/10/25/ PY - 2011/04/19/received PY - 2013/09/05/revised PY - 2013/09/06/accepted PY - 2013/11/12/entrez PY - 2013/11/12/pubmed PY - 2015/12/15/medline KW - Behavioral effects KW - Bulimia nervosa KW - Catecholamine depletion KW - Dopamine KW - Norepinephrine KW - Pathophysiology SP - 661 EP - 7 JF - Biological psychiatry JO - Biol. Psychiatry VL - 77 IS - 7 N2 - BACKGROUND: Bulimia nervosa (BN) has been associated with dysregulation of the central catecholaminergic system. An instructive way to investigate the relationship between catecholaminergic function and psychiatric disorder has involved behavioral responses to experimental catecholamine depletion (CD). The purpose of this study was to examine a possible catecholaminergic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of bulimia nervosa. METHODS: CD was achieved by oral administration of alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (AMPT) in 18 remitted female subjects with BN (rBN) and 31 healthy female control subjects. The study design consisted of a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled crossover, single-site experimental trial. The main outcome measures were bulimic symptoms assessed by the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire. Measures were assessed before and 26, 30, 54, 78, 102 hours after the first AMPT or placebo administration. RESULTS: In the experimental environment (controlled environment with a low level of food cues) rBN subjects had a greater increase in eating disorder symptoms during CD compared with healthy control subjects (condition × diagnosis interaction, p < .05). In the experimental environment, rBN subjects experienced fewer bulimic symptoms than in the natural environment (uncontrolled environment concerning food cues) 36 hours after the first AMPT intake (environment × diagnosis interaction, p < .05). Serum prolactin levels increased significantly, and to a comparable degree across groups, after AMPT administration. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that rBN is associated with vulnerability for developing eating disorder symptoms in response to reduced catecholamine neurotransmission after CD. The findings support the notion of catecholaminergic dysfunction as a possible trait abnormality in BN. SN - 1873-2402 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24209774/Behavioral_responses_to_catecholamine_depletion_in_unmedicated_remitted_subjects_with_bulimia_nervosa_and_healthy_subjects_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0006-3223(13)00835-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -