Depressive symptomatology and cocaine-induced pituitary-adrenal axis activation in individuals with cocaine dependence

Igor Elman*, Hans C. Breiter, Randy L. Gollub, Sara Krause, Howard L. Kantor, Werner A. Baumgartner, David R. Gastfriend, Bruce R. Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a role in cocaine dependence and major depressive disorder. The authors examined the correlation between baseline depressive symptomatology and pituitary-adrenal axis activation induced by acute cocaine challenge. Twelve patients with cocaine dependence were administered an iv bolus of cocaine (0.6 mg/kg) and their plasma was assayed for levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol. Depressive symptomatology was assessed with total Hamilton rating scale for depression (HRSD) scores and its vegetative and cognitive superfactors. Cocaine produced a mean increase from baseline of 261% for ACTH and 73% for cortisol plasma levels. Changes in ACTH (r=0.69) and cortisol (r=0.59) were positively and significantly correlated with total HRSD scores and its vegetative, but not cognitive, factor symptom cluster. These results suggest that the HPA axis may be involved in affective disturbances associated with the use of cocaine. Implications of these data for the pathophysiology of cocaine dependence are discussed. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 1999

Keywords

  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Cocaine
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Endocrinology
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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