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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Blood concentrations of vasopressin, neuropeptide FF and prolactin are increased by high-dose right unilateral ECT.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is known to stimulate subcortical brain regions and release hormones from the anterior and the posterior pituitary. To enhance the subcortical effect of ECT and the neuroendocrinological response we used high dose right unilateral ECT (RUL-ECT) in 11 depressive patients and studied its effect on the release of vasopressin, prolactin and neuropeptide FF. The RUL ECT stimulus for all studied patients was 5 times the individual seizure threshold and it led to immediate release of vasopressin in all studied patients. The release of prolactin was less uniform however in accordance with results from earlier studies. The ECT also stimulated a NPFF secretion peak that came approximately 5 min after ECT stimulus and preceded the prolactin peak. The maximal elevations in circulating vasopressin and prolactin concentrations were 680% and 950%, respectively. The neuropeptide FF concentration increased by 100% after ECT. There was a second rise in NPFF concentration at 25 min after the ECT treatment. The increases in all peptide concentrations were significant, but were not correlated with each other. The neuropeptide FF concentration returned to baseline level at 10 min and the vasopressin concentration at 25 min after ECT. The prolactin concentration remained increased during the 30 min follow up period. Our results complete earlier finding on ECT stimulated vasopressin and prolactin release and show that high intensity RUL-ECT releases neuropeptide FF into human blood. The modest rise of circulating NFFF most likely represents leakage from the CNS.[1]


  1. Blood concentrations of vasopressin, neuropeptide FF and prolactin are increased by high-dose right unilateral ECT. Sundblom, D.M., Heikman, P., Naukkarinen, H., Fyhrquist, F. Peptides (1999) [Pubmed]
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