Methylation of HPA Axis Related Genes in Men With Hypersexual Disorder

AUTHOR(S)

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PUBLISHED

2017 in Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 80, pp. 67-73

KEY FINDINGS
  • This study found that male patients with hypersexual disorder had reduced levels of methylation; this is an important integrator of neuroendocrine stress responses in the brain, modulating behavior and the autonomic nervous system.
ABSTRACT
Hypersexual Disorder (HD) defined as non-paraphilic sexual desire disorder with components of compulsivity, impulsivity and behavioral addiction, and proposed as a diagnosis in the DSM 5, shares some overlapping features with substance use disorder including common neurotransmitter systems and dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. In this study, comprising 67 HD male patients and 39 male healthy volunteers, we aimed to identify HPA-axis coupled CpG-sites, in which modifications of the epigenetic... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "In this study, we found that male patients with hypersexual disorder had reduced levels of methylation in a methylation locus (cg23409074) site located 48 bp upstream of the transcription start site of the CRH gene. Furthermore, this methylation locus was significantly positively correlated with CRH gene expression in an independent cohort of healthy male subjects. To our knowledge, this is the first report on epigenetic changes related to hypersexual disorder. We used genome-wide methylation chips with over 850 K CpG sites, however, based on our earlier findings on HPA dysregulation in men with hypersexual disorder, we applied a targeted approach on candidate genes of the HPA axis."
  • "CRH is an important integrator of neuroendocrine stress responses in the brain, modulating behavior and the autonomic nervous system, as well as in neuroplasticity. Considering hypersexual disorder in the frame of addiction neurobiology, it is well established that CRH has a key role in the addiction process."
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