German Journal of Psychiatry    ISSN 1455-1033

2000, Vol. 3, Supplement 1, S1


The behavioral response to cholecystokinin tetrapeptide is affected by trait dissociation in healthy volunteers

M. Kellner, A. Yassouridis, Y. Hua, M. Wendrich, K. Wiedemann

University Hospital Eppendorf, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hamburg, Germany

Cholecystokinin tetrapeptide (CCK-4) dose-dependently elicits short-lived panic symptoms in healthy volunteers. In a recent study in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder, trait dissociation as measured by the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) [1] influenced the behavioral effects of CCK-4; furthermore, prodissociative effects of CCK-4 have been observed [2]. So far, no data about these phenomena are available in healthy volunteers. – Nine healthy men each with high (DES>20) or low (DES<5) trait dissociation were given 25 µg CCK-4 iv. Provoked panic, anxiety and acute dissociative symptoms were measured by different psychometric scales before and after CCK-4. – MANCOVA indicated significant group effects for the behavioral response to CCK-4 (F=5.5, df 5,10, sig of F=0.01). Univariate F tests (df=1,14 each) showed significantly (p<0.05) lower rises of panic, anxiety, and acute dissociative symptoms in the high trait dissociation subjects compared to low trait dissociation subjects. – Trait dissociation affects the behavioral effect of CCK-4 also in normal healthy men. The underlying neurophysiological mechanisms (e.g. compromised perception or attention) need further research. – 1. Carlson EB, Putnam FW (1995) Dissociation 6: 16-27; 2. Kellner M, Wiedemann K, Yassouridis A, Levengood R, Guo LS, Holsboer F, Yehuda R (2000) Biol Psychiatry 47: 107-111 – This study was supported by a DFG grant (Ke 595/4-1).


©German Journal of Psychiatry

ISSN 1455-1033