These data suggest that
a polymorphism of catecholamine O-methyltransferase (COMT) is associated with aggressive responses on the PSAP (Flory et al, unpublished data). There are also a variety of neuroendocrine/neurochemical as well as neuroimaging paradigms that suggest possible AG13736 endophenotypic measures in the realm of aggression. The serotonin Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical (5-hydroxytrypamine, 5-HT) system is the neurotransmitter system most consistently implicated in the pathogenesis of aggression. Fenfluramine, which releases serotonin and acts directly on serotonin receptors, stimulates prolactin release, probably by a 5-HT2c receptor-mediated mechanism. The prolactin responsiveness to fenfluramine Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical administration thus provides an indirect reflection of the capacity of the serotonergic system, which depends on available serotonin for release, reuptake capacity, and receptor sensitivity. Patients with BPD demonstrate reduced prolactin responses to fenfluramine compared with controls,32 and the degree
of response is highly significantly inversely correlated with scores on the Buss-Durkee “Assault” and “Irritability” subscales of the Hostility Inventory. Furthermore, reduced prolactin responses to fenfluramine are particularly associated with criteria of impulsivity, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical intense anger, and selfdamaging acts, but not to other criteria that reflect affective instability or identity/relational problems.32 As neuroendocrine paradigms cannot assess brain responsiveness in critical cortical inhibitory regions, serotonergic probe studies have shifted to assessment of cortical Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical responses to these probes as assessed by fluorodeoxy glucose positron emission tomography
(FDG-PET). Aggressive patients with BPD in one cohort33 and BPD patients in another cohort34 demonstrated reduced responses in prefrontal cortex to the administration of fenfluramine compared with placebo. These reductions were Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical particularly pronounced in regions of orbital and ventral medial prefrontal cortex, while other more posterior regions did not necessarily differ between the two groups or were indeed enhanced in the impulsive patient populations. Furthermore, in the initial fenfluramine Ketanserin study, the areas of significant correlation of activation in response to fenfluramine in orbital frontal cortex with amygdalar activity suggesting an interactive circuit were more extensive in normal controls than they were in impulsive aggressive subjects, where areas with significant correlations with amygdala were more limited. Another serotonergic probe that has been used to evaluate cortical activation in relation to aggression that might serve as an endophenotype is the metabolite of trazadone, meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP).