The Role of BDNF, Leptin and Catecholamines in Reward Learning in Bulimia Nervosa

Homan, Philipp; Grob, Simona; Milos, Gabriella; Schneyder, Ulrich; Eckert, Anne; Lang, Undine; Hasler, Gregor (2015). The Role of BDNF, Leptin and Catecholamines in Reward Learning in Bulimia Nervosa. International journal of neuropsychopharmacology, 18(5), pyu092-pyu092. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ijnp/pyu092

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Background: A relationship between bulimia nervosa (BN) 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 BN (rBN) 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 h 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 = 0.05). Across conditions, plasma BDNF levels were higher in rBN subjects compared to controls (diagnosis effect; p = 0.001). Plasma BDNF and leptin levels were higher in the morning before compared to after a standardized breakfast across groups and conditions (time effect; p < 0.0001). The plasma leptin levels were higher under catecholamine depletion compared to placebo in the whole sample (treatment effect; p = 0.0004). Conclusions: This study reports on preliminary findings that suggest a catecholamine-dependent association of plasma BDNF and reward learning in subjects with rBN 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 rBN and controls.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Healthcare Research

UniBE Contributor:

Homan, Philipp and Hasler, Gregor

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1461-1457

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Philipp Homan

Date Deposited:

06 Jan 2015 09:45

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2015 01:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/ijnp/pyu092

PubMed ID:

25522424

Uncontrolled Keywords:

BDNF, leptin, reward, catecholamines, bulimia nervosa, alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.60966

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/60966

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