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J Psychopharmacol. 2009 Jun;23(4):460-4. doi: 10.1177/0269881108089600. Epub 2008 Jun 18.

CCK-4-induced anxiety but not panic is associated with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy subjects.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. eduard.maron@kliinikum.ee

Abstract

Recent animal studies consistently confirm the involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the regulation of anxiety-related behaviours. The role of BDNF in human anxiety has been less investigated. The aim of our study was to examine the association between serum BDNF levels and panic/anxiety responses to cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide (CCK-4) challenge in healthy subjects. BDNF concentrations were detected in serum samples of 37 male and female volunteers before and 120 min after CCK-4 injection. The baseline levels of serum BDNF did not predict the occurrence of CCK-4-induced panic attacks or intensity of panic symptoms and did not significantly change 2 h after the challenge. BDNF serum concentrations 120 min after provocation did not differentiate panickers from non-panickers; however, the subjects reporting stronger anxiety response showed higher levels of BDNF than those with mild anxiety. The anxiety net increase on the Visual Analogue Scale, but not severity of panic symptoms, significantly and positively correlated with the change in BDNF concentration from baseline values. This is the first challenge study to demonstrate a possible impact of BDNF on human anxiety. Our findings suggest a general involvement of BDNF in the regulation of anxiety rather than a specific role of BDNF in disposition to panic attacks.

PMID:
18562429
DOI:
10.1177/0269881108089600
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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