Peripheral oxytocin and vasopressin modulates regional brain activity differently in men and women with schizophrenia

Leah H. Rubin, Siyi Li, Li Yao, Sarah K. Keedy, James L. Reilly, Scot K. Hill, Jeffrey R. Bishop, C. Sue Carter, Hossein Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Lauren L. Drogos, Elliot Gershon, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Carol A. Tamminga, Brett A. Clementz, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Su Lui, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) exert sexually dimorphic effects on cognition and emotion processing. Abnormalities in these hormones are observed in schizophrenia and may contribute to multiple established sex differences associated with the disorder. Here we examined sex-dependent hormone associations with resting brain activity and their clinical associations in schizophrenia patients. Methods: OT and AVP serum concentrations were assayed in 35 individuals with schizophrenia (23 men) and 60 controls (24 men) from the Chicago BSNIP study site. Regional cerebral function was assessed with resting state fMRI by measuring the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) which are believed to reflect intrinsic spontaneous neuronal activity. Results: In female patients, lower OT levels were associated with lower ALFF in frontal and cerebellar cortices (p's < 0.05) and in female controls AVP levels were inversely associated with ALFF in the frontal cortex (p = 0.01). In male patients, lower OT levels were associated with lower ALFF in the posterior cingulate and lower AVP levels were associated with lower ALFF in frontal cortex (p's < 0.05). In male controls, lower OT levels were associated with lower ALFF in frontal cortex and higher ALFF in the thalamus (p's < 0.05). There were some inverse ALFF-behavior associations in patients. Conclusions: Alterations in peripheral hormone levels are associated with resting brain physiology in a sex-dependent manner in schizophrenia. These effects may contribute to sex differences in psychiatric symptom severity and course of illness in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchizophrenia Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Functional MRI
  • Oxytocin
  • Resting state
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sex differences
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Rubin, L. H., Li, S., Yao, L., Keedy, S. K., Reilly, J. L., Hill, S. K., Bishop, J. R., Sue Carter, C., Pournajafi-Nazarloo, H., Drogos, L. L., Gershon, E., Pearlson, G. D., Tamminga, C. A., Clementz, B. A., Keshavan, M. S., Lui, S., & Sweeney, J. A. (Accepted/In press). Peripheral oxytocin and vasopressin modulates regional brain activity differently in men and women with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2018.07.003