Reduced cerebrospinal fluid dynorphin A1-8 in Alzheimer's disease

Trey Sunderland, Wade H. Berrettini, Susan E. Molchan, Brian A. Lawlor, Rick A. Martinez, Benedetto Vitiello, Pierre N. Tariot, Robert M. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measures of dynorphin A1-8 were compared in three groups. Alzheimer patients (n = 9), elderly depressives (n = 9), and age-matched normal controls (n = 9). The Alzheimer patients revealed a 40% decrease in CSF dynorphin compared with controls (36 ± 15 versus 60 ± 21 pg/ml. p < 0.05). In contrast other peptide measures [Neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and galanin] remained unchanged across groups. This finding was further supported when an additional 20 Alzheimer patients with similar clinical backgrounds also showed reduced CSF dynorphin (37 ± 13 pg/ml). CSF dynorphin did not correlate significantly with clinical variables or other CSF measures of monoamine metabolites [i.e., 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and homovanillic acid (HVA)]. Given the previous report of increased kappa binding of Alzheimer brains at autopsy, the authors speculate about a possible up-regulation of opiate receptors in Alzheimer's disease and suggest ways to test this hypothesis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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