Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis function have been reported in alcoholism. Blunting of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) occurs in approximately 25% of alcoholics patients. Using a sensitive radioimmunoassay that allows TRH itself to be measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), CSF concentrations of TRH were measured in alcoholics and normal controls. There was no significant difference in TRH concentrations between the groups. However, among the controls there was a significant correlation between CSF concentrations of the major serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and CSF concentrations of TRH. This correlation was lacking in the alcoholics. These findings are of interest because basic neurobiological studies have reported that TRH and serotonin are co-localized in certain neurons in the rat central nervous system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biological Psychiatry