Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 Jan;30(1):192-5.

Panic induction with cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide (CCK-4) Increases plasma concentrations of the neuroactive steroid 3alpha, 5alpha tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (3alpha, 5alpha-THDOC) in healthy volunteers.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany.


3alpha-reduced neuroactive steroids such as 3alpha, 5alpha-tetrahydroprogesterone (3alpha, 5alpha-THP) and 3alpha, 5alpha-tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (3alpha, 5alpha-THDOC) are potent positive allosteric modulators of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors and display pronounced anxiolytic activity in animal models. Experimental panic induction with cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide (CCK-4) and sodium lactate is accompanied by a decrease in 3alpha, 5alpha-THP concentrations in patients with panic disorder, but not in healthy controls. However, no data are available on 3alpha, 5alpha-THDOC concentrations during experimental panic induction. Therefore, we quantified 3alpha, 5alpha-THDOC concentrations in 10 healthy volunteers (nine men, one woman) before and after panic induction with CCK-4 by means of a highly sensitive and specific gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. CCK-4 elicited a strong panic response as assessed by the Acute Panic Inventory. This was accompanied by an increase in 3alpha, 5alpha-THDOC, ACTH and cortisol concentrations. This increase in 3alpha, 5alpha-THDOC might be a consequence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation following CCK-4-induced panic, and might contribute to the termination of the anxiety/stress response following challenge with CCK-4 through enhancement of GABAA receptor function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center