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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Nov;38(11):2502-10. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.05.013. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

NUCB2/nesfatin-1 is associated with elevated scores of anxiety in female obese patients.

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  • 1Charité Center for Internal Medicine and Dermatology, Division for General Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:


Nesfatin-1 is derived from nucleobindin2 (NUCB2) and implicated in the regulation of food intake and body weight. Plasma levels are altered under conditions of chronically altered body weight such as obesity. Nesfatin-1 was also shown to be involved in the modulation of emotion. Since obesity is often associated with anxiety and depression we investigated plasma NUCB2/nesfatin-1 levels in obese women (n=77) over a broad range of body mass index (BMI, 32-67 kg/m(2)) with different levels of anxiety assessed by the generalized anxiety disorder questionnaire (GAD-7). Stress was assessed using the perceived stress questionnaire (PSQ-20) and depression using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9). The study population was divided in patients with low anxiety (n=40, GAD scores, mean ± SD, 5.0 ± 2.7) and high anxiety (n=37, 14.2 ± 3.3, p<0.001). Patients with high anxiety showed higher levels of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 (+33%), perceived stress (+60%) and depression (+98%) compared to the low anxiety group (p<0.001). NUCB2/nesfatin-1 levels positively correlated with GAD-7 (r=0.68, p<0.001), total PSQ-20 (r=0.57, p<0.001) and PHQ-9 scores (r=0.45, p<0.001), while no significant correlation was observed with BMI (r=-0.21, p=0.09). Also the subscales of the PSQ-20, "worries", "tension" and "demands" were higher in the high anxiety group and correlated positively with NUCB2/nesfatin-1 (p<0.001), whereas "joy" was lower and correlated negatively with NUCB2/nesfatin-1 (p=0.015). Summarized, plasma NUCB2/nesfatin-1 levels were altered under conditions of perceived anxiety, stress and depression in obese women. No correlation was observed with BMI. These data point toward an involvement of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 in the regulation of emotion in addition to its impact on body weight.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Emotion; Gut–brain–axis; Mood; Nucleobindin2; Psychobiology; Psychoneuroendocrine; Psychosomatic

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