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The role of BDNF, leptin, and catecholamines in reward learning in bulimia nervosa.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A relationship between bulimia nervosa and reward-related behavior is supported by several lines of evidence. The dopaminergic dysfunctions in the processing of reward-related stimuli have been shown to be modulated by the neurotrophin brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the hormone leptin.

METHODS

Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, a reward learning task was applied to study the behavior of 20 female subjects with remitted bulimia nervosa and 27 female healthy controls under placebo and catecholamine depletion with alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (AMPT). The plasma levels of BDNF and leptin were measured twice during the placebo and the AMPT condition, immediately before and 1 hour after a standardized breakfast.

RESULTS

AMPT-induced differences in plasma BDNF levels were positively correlated with the AMPT-induced differences in reward learning in the whole sample (P=.05). Across conditions, plasma brain derived neurotrophic factor levels were higher in remitted bulimia nervosa subjects compared with controls (diagnosis effect; P=.001). Plasma BDNF and leptin levels were higher in the morning before compared with after a standardized breakfast across groups and conditions (time effect; P<.0001). The plasma leptin levels were higher under catecholamine depletion compared with placebo in the whole sample (treatment effect; P=.0004).

CONCLUSIONS

This study reports on preliminary findings that suggest a catecholamine-dependent association of plasma BDNF and reward learning in subjects with remitted bulimia nervosa and controls. A role of leptin in reward learning is not supported by this study. However, leptin levels were sensitive to a depletion of catecholamine stores in both remitted bulimia nervosa and controls.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang). homan@puk.unibe.ch.Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang).Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang).Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang).Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang).Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang).Department of Molecular Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland (Drs Homan and Hasler); Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Dr Grob, Drs Milos and Schnyder); Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Eckert); Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Switzerland (Dr Lang).

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25522424

Citation

Homan, Philipp, et al. "The Role of BDNF, Leptin, and Catecholamines in Reward Learning in Bulimia Nervosa." The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 18, no. 5, 2014.
Homan P, Grob S, Milos G, et al. The role of BDNF, leptin, and catecholamines in reward learning in bulimia nervosa. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014;18(5).
Homan, P., Grob, S., Milos, G., Schnyder, U., Eckert, A., Lang, U., & Hasler, G. (2014). The role of BDNF, leptin, and catecholamines in reward learning in bulimia nervosa. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 18(5), doi:10.1093/ijnp/pyu092.
Homan P, et al. The Role of BDNF, Leptin, and Catecholamines in Reward Learning in Bulimia Nervosa. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Dec 7;18(5) PubMed PMID: 25522424.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The role of BDNF, leptin, and catecholamines in reward learning in bulimia nervosa. AU - Homan,Philipp, AU - Grob,Simona, AU - Milos,Gabriella, AU - Schnyder,Ulrich, AU - Eckert,Anne, AU - Lang,Undine, AU - Hasler,Gregor, Y1 - 2014/12/07/ PY - 2014/12/19/entrez PY - 2014/12/19/pubmed PY - 2015/12/15/medline KW - BDNF KW - alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine KW - bulimia nervosa KW - catecholamines KW - leptin KW - reward JF - The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology JO - Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacol. VL - 18 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: A relationship between bulimia nervosa and reward-related behavior is supported by several lines of evidence. The dopaminergic dysfunctions in the processing of reward-related stimuli have been shown to be modulated by the neurotrophin brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the hormone leptin. METHODS: Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, a reward learning task was applied to study the behavior of 20 female subjects with remitted bulimia nervosa and 27 female healthy controls under placebo and catecholamine depletion with alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (AMPT). The plasma levels of BDNF and leptin were measured twice during the placebo and the AMPT condition, immediately before and 1 hour after a standardized breakfast. RESULTS: AMPT-induced differences in plasma BDNF levels were positively correlated with the AMPT-induced differences in reward learning in the whole sample (P=.05). Across conditions, plasma brain derived neurotrophic factor levels were higher in remitted bulimia nervosa subjects compared with controls (diagnosis effect; P=.001). Plasma BDNF and leptin levels were higher in the morning before compared with after a standardized breakfast across groups and conditions (time effect; P<.0001). The plasma leptin levels were higher under catecholamine depletion compared with placebo in the whole sample (treatment effect; P=.0004). CONCLUSIONS: This study reports on preliminary findings that suggest a catecholamine-dependent association of plasma BDNF and reward learning in subjects with remitted bulimia nervosa and controls. A role of leptin in reward learning is not supported by this study. However, leptin levels were sensitive to a depletion of catecholamine stores in both remitted bulimia nervosa and controls. SN - 1469-5111 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25522424/The_role_of_BDNF_leptin_and_catecholamines_in_reward_learning_in_bulimia_nervosa_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ijnp/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ijnp/pyu092 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -