Dysregulation of Regional Endogenous Opioid Function in Borderline Personality Disorder
ABSTRACT Borderline personality disorder is characterized by a lack of effective regulation of emotional responses. The authors investigated the role of the endogenous opioid system and mu-opioid receptors in emotion regulation in borderline personality disorder.
Mu-opioid receptor availability in vivo (nondisplaceable binding potential, or BP(ND)) was measured with positron emission tomography and the selective radiotracer [(11)C]carfentanil during neutral and sustained sadness states in 18 unmedicated female patients with borderline personality disorder and 14 healthy female comparison subjects.
Patients showed greater regional mu-opioid BP(ND) than did comparison subjects at baseline (neutral state) bilaterally in the orbitofrontal cortex, caudate, and nucleus accumbens and in the left amygdala, but lower BP(ND) in the posterior thalamus. Sadness induction was associated with greater reductions in BP(ND) (endogenous opioid system activation) in the patient group than in the comparison group in the pregenual anterior cingulate, left orbitofrontal cortex, left ventral pallidum, left amygdala, and left inferior temporal cortex. Patients showed evidence of endogenous opioid system deactivation in the left nucleus accumbens, the hypothalamus, and the right hippocampus/parahippocampus relative to comparison subjects. Correlations of baseline measures with the Dissociative Experiences Scale and endogenous opioid system activation with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale did not remain significant after correction for multiple comparisons.
Differences exist between patients with borderline personality disorder and comparison subjects in baseline in vivo mu-opioid receptor concentrations and in the endogenous opioid system response to a negative emotional challenge that can be related to some of the clinical characteristics of patients with borderline personality disorder. The regional network involved is implicated in the representation and regulation of emotion and stress responses.
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ABSTRACT: Relief from emotional pain is a frequently cited reason for engaging in non-suicidal self-injury. The exact mechanism by which self-injury brings about this relief is unknown, but the potential role of endogenous opioids in affective regulation has been posited. Few studies have investigated this and there are a number of methodological challenges to measuring endogenous opioid activity in this population. Furthermore as the majority of research to date has focused on inpatients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), it is uncertain if the findings of previous studies would also apply to those who self-injure but who do not have BPD. Whether or not altered endogenous opioid levels are a cause or a consequence of self-injury is unknown and to this end, comparing self-injury ideators with enactors, may offer a window of insight. Another candidate system, the endocannabinoid system, should also be explored in relation to this research question. The current commentary aims to tease apart the methodological issues in this area of research and stimulate further discussion of this topic.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 11/2014; 48. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.11.007 · 10.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sublingual formulations of buprenorphine (BUP) and BUP/naloxone have well-established pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, and are safe and effective for treating opioid use disorder. Since approvals of these formulations, their clinical use has increased. Yet, questions have arisen as to how BUP binding to mu-opioid receptors (μORs), the neurobiological target for this medication, relate to its clinical application. BUP produces dose- and time-related alterations of μOR availability but some clinicians express concern about whether doses higher than those needed to prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms are warranted, and policymakers consider limiting reimbursement for certain BUP dosing regimens.Drug and Alcohol Dependence 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.07.035 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Endogenous opioids are implicated in the mechanism of action of alcohol and alcohol affects opioids in a number of brain areas, although little is known about alcohol's effects on opioids in the adolescent brain. One concern, in particular when studying young animals, is that alcohol intake models often are based on single housing that may result in alcohol effects confounded by the lack of social interactions. The aim of this study was to investigate short- and long-term alcohol effects on opioids and the influence of housing conditions on these effects.Methods In the first part, opioid peptide levels were measured after one 24-hour session of single housing and 2-hour voluntary alcohol intake in adolescent and adult rats. In the second part, a model with a cage divider inserted during 2-hour drinking sessions was tested and the effects on opioids were examined after 6 weeks of adolescent voluntary intake in single-and pair-housed rats, respectively.ResultsThe effects of single housing were age specific and affected Met-enkephalin-Arg6Phe7 (MEAP) in particular. In adolescent rats, it was difficult to distinguish between effects induced by alcohol and single housing, whereas alcohol-specific effects were seen in dynorphin B (DYNB), beta-endorphin (BEND), and MEAP levels in adults. Voluntary drinking affected several brain areas and the majority of alcohol-induced effects were not dependent on housing. However, alcohol effects on DYNB and BEND in the amygdala were dependent on housing. Housing alone affected MEAP in the cingulate cortex.Conclusions Age-specific housing- and alcohol-induced effects on opioids were found. In addition, prolonged voluntary alcohol intake under different housing conditions produced several alcohol-induced effects independent of housing. However, housing-dependent effects were found in areas implicated in stress, emotionality, and alcohol use disorder. Housing condition and age may therefore affect the reasons and underlying mechanisms for drinking and could potentially affect the outcome of a number of end points in research on alcohol intake.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 12/2014; 38(12). DOI:10.1111/acer.12586 · 3.31 Impact Factor