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April 1986

CSF Somatostatin and Abnormal Response to Dexamethasone Administration in Schizophrenic and Depressed Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Section on Clinical Studies, Clinical Neuroscience Branch (Drs Doran, Roy, and Pickar), and the Biological Psychiatry Branch (Dr Rubinow), National Institute of Mental Health, Washington, DC.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(4):365-369. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800040075011

• Low levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) somatostatin and abnormal response to dexamethasone are two neuroendocrine disturbances reported to appear in depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. We measured the levels of CSF somatostatin in patients with schizophrenia (n = 44) and depression (n=19). In view of in vitro and animal evidence of the ability of somatostatin to inhibit stimulated corticotropin secretion, we also administered the dexamethasone suppression test to a subgroup of the patients with schizophrenia (n =16) and the total depressed group. Lower levels of CSF somatostatin were found in dexamethasone nonsuppressors regardless of diagnosis and were negatively correlated with maximum postdexamethasone cortisol level in the total and depressed patient groups. These data suggest a functional relationship between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity and reduced CSF somatostatin level.