Beta-Endorphin and Oxytocin in Patients with Alcohol Use Disorder and Comorbid Depression

Olga V. Roschina, Lyudmila A. Levchuk, Anastasiia S. Boiko, Ekaterina V. Michalitskaya, Elena V. Epimakhova, Innokentiy S. Losenkov, German G. Simutkin, Anton J. M. Loonen*, Nikolay A. Bokhan, Svetlana A. Ivanova

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
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Background: The neuropeptides β‐endorphin and oxytocin are released into the bloodstream as hormones from the pituitary gland but also have an important function as neuroregulators in the forebrain. The blood levels of both polypeptides have been shown to reflect depressive symptoms. β‐Endorphin, in particular, is also involved in abstinence from alcohol. Methods: The serum levels of β‐endorphin and oxytocin were measured during the early withdrawal phase in patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) with (N = 35) or without (N = 45) depressive comorbidity and compared with those in healthy volunteers (N = 23). In addition to comparing the groups, the study examined whether serum levels correlated with various psychometric measures of dependence, depression and aggression, as well as with clinical characteristics of dependence. Results: Both serum levels of beta‐endorphin and oxytocin were significantly lower in patients than those in healthy controls (p = 0.011 for β‐endorphin and p = 0.005 for oxytocin, Kruskal–Wallis test). In patients with depressive comorbidity, the significance was greatest (p = 0.005 for β‐endorphin and p = 0.004 for oxytocin, U‐test). There was no correlation with clinical or psychometric parameters (p > 0.05, Spearman test), but beta‐endorphin levels did correlate significantly with physical aggression (p = 0.026, Spearman test). Conclusions: Serum levels of β‐endorphin and oxytocin are lower in patients with AUD, particularly in those with depressive comorbidity. β‐Endorphin levels correlated with physical aggression according to the Buss–Durkee (BDHI) estimates.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of Clinical Medicine
Nummer van het tijdschrift23
StatusPublished - 1-dec.-2021

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