ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives. The cyclic adenosine monophosphate responsive element binding (CREB) protein is a transcription factor involved in different neural processes, such as learning, neuroplasticity and the modulation of stress response. Alterations in the CREB pathway have been observed in the brains and lymphocytes of patients affected by depression and alcohol abuse. Given the lack of information, our study aimed at investigating the levels of total and activated CREB protein in lympho-monocytes of 20 drug-free patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), as compared with 20 healthy control subjects. Methods. Blood samples were collected from patients and healthy control subjects on the same time and lympho-monocytes were isolated according to standardized methods. CREB protein levels and activation were measured by means of immunoenzymatic techniques. Results. The results showed that PTSD patients had statistically lower levels of total CREB protein in lympho-monocytes than healthy control subjects. On the contrary, no difference in the activated CREB protein was detected. Conclusions. These findings, albeit preliminary, would suggest that the CREB pathway might be involved in the pathophysiology of PTSD. Future studies should clarify if specific PTSD symptom clusters might be related to the CREB pathway.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 06/2011; · 2.38 Impact Factor