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Neuroscience. 2015 Feb 12;286:412-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.12.004. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Mineralocorticoid receptor haplotype, oral contraceptives and emotional information processing.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, The Netherlands. Electronic address: d.a.hamstra@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
2
Leiden Academic Centre of Drug Research, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.
4
DynaCorts Therapeutics, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.
5
Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oral contraceptives (OCs) affect mood in some women and may have more subtle effects on emotional information processing in many more users. Female carriers of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) haplotype 2 have been shown to be more optimistic and less vulnerable to depression.

AIM:

To investigate the effects of oral contraceptives on emotional information processing and a possible moderating effect of MR haplotype.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional study in 85 healthy premenopausal women of West-European descent.

RESULTS:

We found significant main effects of oral contraceptives on facial expression recognition, emotional memory and decision-making. Furthermore, carriers of MR haplotype 1 or 3 were sensitive to the impact of OCs on the recognition of sad and fearful faces and on emotional memory, whereas MR haplotype 2 carriers were not.

LIMITATIONS:

Different compounds of OCs were included. No hormonal measures were taken. Most naturally cycling participants were assessed in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle.

CONCLUSIONS:

Carriers of MR haplotype 2 may be less sensitive to depressogenic side-effects of OCs.

KEYWORDS:

cognition; emotional information processing; mineralocorticoid receptor; oral contraceptives

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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