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FAAH Gene Variation Moderates Stress Response and Symptom Severity in Patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Comorbid Alcohol Dependence
NIAAA, MD USA.
NIAAA, MD USA.
NIAAA, MD USA.
NIAAA, MD USA.
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2016 (English)In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, ISSN 0145-6008, E-ISSN 1530-0277, Vol. 40, no 11, 2426-2434 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundA common single nucleotide polymorphism (C385A) in the human fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) gene has been associated with decreased distress responses in healthy volunteers, but its role in psychiatric disorders remains unknown. Here, we obtained genotypes and carried out a secondary analysis of subjects from a trial of comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence (AD). We evaluated the effects of C385A variation on behavioral and biochemical biomarkers of distress responses. MethodsForty-nine patients with PTSD and AD were admitted for 4weeks to an experimental medicine unit at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Following detoxification, stress reactivity and peripheral endocannabinoid (eCB) levels were assessed in response to a challenge session using personalized auditory guided imagery. Over the course of the study, subjects were also evaluated for changes in PTSD symptom severity. ResultsFAAH C385A allele carriers showed a marked increase in serum anandamide levels at baseline and throughout the stress challenge procedure compared with C allele homozygotes, while levels of eCBs primarily metabolized through other enzymatic activity, such as 2-arachidonoylglycerol, did not differ between genotype groups. FAAH C385A carriers also had decreased subjective anxiety responses to the stress challenge. Similar effects of FAAH C385A genotype were found at the level of clinical PTSD symptom severity, in particular in the arousal domain. ConclusionsThis is to our knowledge the first study showing that FAAH C385A variation modulates stress responses in subjects with disorders characterized by increased stress reactivity. These findings point to the eCB pathway as a promising target for future antistress therapeutics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY-BLACKWELL , 2016. Vol. 40, no 11, 2426-2434 p.
Keyword [en]
Stress; Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase; Endocannabinoids; Alcohol Use Disorders; Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132836DOI: 10.1111/acer.13210ISI: 000386918400022PubMedID: 27716956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132836DiVA: diva2:1052453
Available from: 2016-12-06 Created: 2016-11-30 Last updated: 2017-05-23

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Mayo, LeahHeilig, Markus
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Division of Neuro and Inflammation ScienceFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesCenter for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN)Department of Psychiatry
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