Appetite regulatory hormones in women with anorexia nervosa: binge-eating/purging versus restricting type.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric illness characterized by low weight, disordered eating, and hallmark neuroendocrine dysfunction. Behavioral phenotypes are defined by predominant restriction or bingeing/purging; binge-eating/purging type anorexia nervosa is associated with poorer outcome. The pathophysiology underlying anorexia nervosa types is unknown, but altered hormones, known to be involved in eating behaviors, may play a role. METHOD: To examine the role of anorexigenic hormones in anorexia nervosa subtypes, we examined serum levels of peptide YY (PYY; total and active [3-36] forms), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and leptin as primary outcomes in women with DSM-5 restricting type anorexia nervosa (n = 50), binge-eating/purging type anorexia nervosa (n = 25), and healthy controls (n = 22). In addition, women completed validated secondary outcome measures of eating disorder psychopathology (Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire) and depression and anxiety symptoms (Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression [HDRS] and Anxiety [HARS]). The study samples were collected from May 22, 2004, to February 7, 2012. RESULTS: Mean PYY 3-36 and leptin levels were lower and BDNF levels higher in binge-eating/purging type anorexia nervosa than in restricting type anorexia nervosa (all P values < .05). After controlling for body mass index, differences in PYY and PYY 3-36 between anorexia nervosa types were significant (P < .05) and differences in BDNF were at the trend level (P < .10). PYY 3-36 was positively (r = 0.27, P = .02) and leptin was negatively (r = -0.51, P < .0001) associated with dietary restraint; BDNF was positively associated with frequency of purging (r = 0.21, P = .04); and leptin was negatively associated with frequency of bingeing (r = -0.29, P = .007) and purging (r = -0.31, P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: Among women with anorexia nervosa, the anorexigenic hormones PYY, BDNF, and leptin are differentially regulated between the restricting and binge/purge types. Whether these hormone pathways play etiologic roles with regard to anorexia nervosa behavioral types or are compensatory merits further study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Eddy, KT; Lawson, EA; Meade, C; Meenaghan, E; Horton, SE; Misra, M; Klibanski, A; Miller, KK

Published Date

  • January 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 76 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 19 - 24

PubMed ID

  • 25098834

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4408926

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1555-2101

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4088/JCP.13m08753


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States