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Br J Psychiatry. 1998 May;172:439-42.

Prolactin response to d-fenfluramine is blunted in people with anorexia nervosa.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Italy.



Several studies have explored serotonin (5-HT) transmission in people with anorexia nervosa, but their results have been inconsistent.


According to a double-blind placebo-controlled design, plasma prolactin response to the specific serotonergic probed d-fenfluramine was investigated in 10 under weight and two normal-weight women with anorexia, and in 12 age-matched healthy females. Eating-related psychopathology, depressive and obsessive--compulsive symptoms, and aggressiveness were measured by appropriate rating scales.


Compared with healthy control subjects, the women with anorexia showed reduced baseline prolactin and oestrogen levels and increased basal cortisol concentrations. The prolactin response to d-fenfluramine was blunted and did not correlate with psychopathological measures.


These results support a dysfunction of 5-HT transmission in anorexia nervosa. This dysfunction does not seem to be related to concomitant depressive or obsessive--compulsive symptoms or to the level of aggressiveness of the patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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