A polymorphism in the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) (A118G) has been shown to increase beta-endorphin binding affinity, theoretically placing greater inhibitory tone on hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons. We hypothesized that the minor allele (G) would predict cortisol responses to both pharmacological (naloxone) and psychological (stress) activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Healthy subjects (mean age 25.2 years, SD 9.2 years) completed a naloxone challenge (n=74) and/or the modified Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) (n=86). For the naloxone challenge, two baseline blood samples were obtained. Then, five increasing doses of i.v. naloxone were administered at 30-min intervals and 12 additional blood samples were collected at 15-min intervals. The TSST consisted of 5-min of public speaking and 5-min of mental arithmetic exercises. Three baseline and five post-TSST blood samples were drawn. Both the naloxone and TSST groups had significant adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and cortisol responses to their respective challenges (P<0.001). There were no differences in baseline ACTH, baseline cortisol, or ACTH response by genotype in either the naloxone or the TSST group. Among subjects expressing a G allele, there was a higher cortisol response to naloxone (P=0.046), but a lower cortisol response to the TSST (P=0.044). In conclusion, the minor allele (G) was associated with a robust cortisol response to naloxone blockade, but a blunted response to psychosocial stress. We speculate that increased opioid avidity of the minor allele receptor contributes to the differential response to naloxone vs stress.
http://linkedlifedata.com/resource/pubmed/chemical/Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, http://linkedlifedata.com/resource/pubmed/chemical/DNA, http://linkedlifedata.com/resource/pubmed/chemical/Hydrocortisone, http://linkedlifedata.com/resource/pubmed/chemical/Naloxone, http://linkedlifedata.com/resource/pubmed/chemical/Narcotic Antagonists, http://linkedlifedata.com/resource/pubmed/chemical/Receptors, Opioid, mu
Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) 31, 204-211. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1300856; published online 3 August 2005.
pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Adolescent, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Adult, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Alleles, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-DNA, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Female, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Genotype, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Humans, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Hydrocortisone, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Male, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Naloxone, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Narcotic Antagonists, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Receptors, Opioid, mu, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Smoking, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Social Environment, pubmed-meshheading:16123758-Stress, Psychological
The mu-opioid receptor polymorphism A118G predicts cortisol responses to naloxone and stress.
Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural