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Temperament and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in healthy adults





Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006 Aug 12; [Epub ahead of print]


Temperament and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in healthy adults.


Tyrka AR, Mello AF, Mello MF, Gagne GG, Grover KE, Anderson GM, Price LH, Carpenter LL. Mood Disorders Research Program and Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience, Butler Hospital, RI, USA; Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI, USA.


BACKGROUND: Traits such as behavioral inhibition and neuroticism have been linked to the development of mood and anxiety disorders. Hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a manifestation of the stress response, is often seen in major depression and has also been demonstrated in animals and humans with inhibited temperaments. A recent study found HPA hyperactivity in adults with high levels of neuroticism. The present study investigated associations of temperament and HPA function in 31 healthy adults. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Subjects completed diagnostic interviews, questionnaires, and the dexamethasone-/corticotropin-releasing hormone (Dex/CRH) test. Temperament was assessed using the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ). RESULTS: Novelty Seeking was inversely related to plasma cortisol concentrations in the Dex/CRH test. Harm Avoidance and Reward Dependence were not significantly associated with cortisol responses in the Dex/CRH test. The results were not accounted for by psychiatric symptoms or a history of stress or childhood maltreatment. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with previous reports associating temperament factors with HPA axis hyperactivity. Further work is needed to replicate these observations and determine whether HPA axis dysfunction might account for some of the previously reported association of personality factors with mood and anxiety disorders.


PMID: 16908106 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]










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