Article

Leptin is associated with craving in females with alcoholism

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Erlangen, Germany.
Addiction Biology (Impact Factor: 5.91). 09/2004; 9(3-4):213-9. DOI: 10.1080/13556210412331292541
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The appetite and weight regulating peptide leptin was associated recently with alcohol craving during withdrawal. Nevertheless, correlations were only significant with craving displayed on the visual analogue scale for maximum craving during the previous week (VAS), and not if assessed with the highly validated Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS). The objective of the following study, therefore, is to elucidate further the associations between the leptin system and craving concepts during alcohol withdrawal. A sufficiently large sample size should allow multiple statistical subgroup and confounder analyses. We prospectively investigated 102 chronic alcoholic inpatients (23 females, 79 males) during withdrawal on days 0 (admission), 1, 2 and days 7-10. In addition to the statistical analysis of the total sample, females and males were to be analysed separately. For detecting associations between leptin levels and craving scores multiple regression analysis was performed. Plasma leptin levels were determined, and craving for ethanol was assessed by both the OCDS and the VAS. Leptin plasma levels significantly increased during alcohol withdrawal compared to day 0, while all craving scores decreased. Body mass corrected leptin plasma levels predicted craving on day 0 in the OCDS total score (R=0.55, F=7.91, df=1.19, p<0.05) and in the OCDS obsessive subscore (R=0.57, F>=8.48, df=1.19, p<0.05) in females. Neither in males nor in the total population did multiple regression analysis reveal any significant results. Leptin levels seem to change during inpatient alcohol withdrawal. In a multivariate model, correlations between leptin levels and the highly validated craving scores of the OCDS can only be assumed in females. Hence, gender differences have to be taken into account when searching for neurobiological models of alcohol craving.

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    • "In patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal, leptin levels are found to be highly correlated with alcohol craving (Kiefer, Jahn, Jaschinski, et al., 2001; Kiefer, Jahn, Kellner, Naber, & Wiedemann, 2001; Kraus et al., 2004). The fact that drugs used to treat alcohol dependence (such as naltrexone and acamprosate) decrease serum leptin in abstinent alcohol addicts suggests that the correlation is meaningful (Kiefer et al., 2005). "
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    • "Depression could be an important mediator of the effect of childhood maltreatment in inflammatory markers (Lopes et al., 2012), however we did not find any difference between CM+ and CM À groups regarding major depression. It is also important to consider that we did not exclude participants with alcohol consume in the last 30 days prior admission despite increased levels of adiponectin , resistin (Hillemacher et al., 2009) and leptin (Kraus et al., 2004) have been reported in alcohol dependence. However, we only included participants with the primary diagnosis of cocaine dependence. "
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    • "This result is similar to previous studies showing alcohol-cue induced craving only in men, but not in healthy socially drinking women (Willner, et al. 1998). As alcohol craving is known to be influenced by hormonal and mood fluctuations (Epstein, et al. 2006; Kraus, et al. 2004; Rubonis, et al. 1994) in women, it is possible that these factors affected the lack of strong neural associations with craving in women. Furthermore, women were drinking at lower levels than men, albeit not significantly less so, and hence recruitment of women with moderate to heavy drinking habits in future studies would be important to identify neural correlates of alcohol craving in women. "
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