Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning. Arginine vasopressin (AVP), in conjunction with corticotrophin releasing hormone, has shown to be an important modulator of the HPA axis. In order to evaluate the effect of trauma and PTSD on central AVP secretion we assessed plasma AVP levels in equally trauma exposed veterans with and without PTSD and a non-traumatized healthy control group.
Methods: Assessment of plasma AVP in 29 male veterans with PTSD, 29 traumatized veterans without PTSD, matched for age, gender, year and region of deployment (trauma controls), and 26 age matched healthy controls.
Results: Plasma AVP levels were higher in PTSD patients compared to both healthy controls (p = 0.004) and trauma controls (p <0.001). In PTSD patients without a comorbid MDD a significant correlation was observed between plasma AVP levels and symptoms of avoidance measured with the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS).
Conclusion: Elevated plasma AVP levels are specifically related to PTSD and not to exposure to traumatic stress during deployment. Our results indicate that AVP may play a role as an anxiogenic factor, but they do not support a role for AVP in the altered response to dexamethasone in PTSD. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- arginine vasopressin
- HPA axis
- PARAVENTRICULAR NUCLEUS
- ENHANCES VASOPRESSIN
- MAJOR DEPRESSION
- COMBAT VETERANS
- ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN SECRETION
- ABSTINENT ALCOHOLICS
- PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS