Gamma-hydroxybutyrate enhances mood and prosocial behavior without affecting plasma oxytocin and testosterone.

Bosch, Oliver G; Eisenegger, Christoph; Gertsch, Jürg; von Rotz, Robin; Dornbierer, Dario; Gachet Otanez, Maria Salomé; Heinrichs, Markus; Wetter, Thomas C; Seifritz, Erich; Quednow, Boris B (2015). Gamma-hydroxybutyrate enhances mood and prosocial behavior without affecting plasma oxytocin and testosterone. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 62, pp. 1-10. Elsevier 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.07.167

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Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a GHB-/GABAB-receptor agonist. Reports from GHB abusers indicate euphoric, prosocial, and empathogenic effects of the drug. We measured the effects of GHB on mood, prosocial behavior, social and non-social cognition and assessed potential underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms. GHB (20mg/kg) was tested in 16 healthy males, using a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Subjective effects on mood were assessed by visual-analogue-scales and the GHB-Specific-Questionnaire. Prosocial behavior was examined by the Charity Donation Task, the Social Value Orientation test, and the Reciprocity Task. Reaction time, memory, empathy, and theory-of-mind were also tested. Blood plasma levels of GHB, oxytocin, testosterone, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenocorticotropic-hormone (ACTH) were determined. GHB showed stimulating and sedating effects, and elicited euphoria, disinhibition, and enhanced vitality. In participants with low prosociality, the drug increased donations and prosocial money distributions. In contrast, social cognitive abilities such as emotion recognition, empathy, and theory-of-mind, and basal cognitive functions were not affected. GHB increased plasma progesterone, while oxytocin and testosterone, cortisol, aldosterone, DHEA, and ACTH levels remained unaffected. GHB has mood-enhancing and prosocial effects without affecting social hormones such as oxytocin and testosterone. These data suggest a potential involvement of GHB-/GABAB-receptors and progesterone in mood and prosocial behavior.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Gertsch, Jürg and Gachet Otanez, Maria Salomé

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0306-4530

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Barbara Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

26 Feb 2016 10:56

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2016 10:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.07.167

PubMed ID:

26209926

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Altruism; Club drug; Fairness; Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid; Rape drug; Sodium oxybate

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75959

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75959

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