This project aims to provide a translational model of adaptive and maladaptive responses to major stressors associated with trauma with the potential to not only provide novel insight into the etiology of PTSD but in addition to guide nove treatment developments for patients with PTSD. Our proposal aims to provide an integrative view on the functions of two major stress-response systems, the kappa opioid receptor system and glucocorticoids, which lays the foundation for future studies of these systems testing specific interventions for these patients. This proposal is a 3-year study involving thirty drug-naive participants in three study groups [PTSD, n=10;trauma-exposed healthy control subjects (TC), n=10;non trauma-exposed healthy control subjects (HC), n=10;age range 18-50 years, equal numbers of men and women in each cohort] who are to be recruited through public advertisement and invited to participate in a medical and psychiatric evaluation, neuroendocrine assessments, one MRI study and one PET study of kappa opioidreceptors using [11C]LY2795050 and PET.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal aims to determine the potential role of kappa opioid receptors (k-OR) in the pathophysiology of PTSD. We propose to recruit patients with PTSD, as well as healthy control subjects with and without trauma exposure and will study k-ORs in vivo using the novel selective k-OR radioligand [11C]LY2795050 and positron emission tomography (PET). This study will for the first time determine the role of this opoid receptor subtype in PTSD and may lay the foundation for novel treatment developments for this patient population.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders Study Section (NPAS)
Program Officer
Borja, Susan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
New York University
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
Zip Code
Pietrzak, Robert H; Naganawa, Mika; Huang, Yiyun et al. (2014) Association of in vivo ?-opioid receptor availability and the transdiagnostic dimensional expression of trauma-related psychopathology. JAMA Psychiatry 71:1262-70
Horn, Charlotte A C; Pietrzak, Robert H; Corsi-Travali, Stefani et al. (2014) Linking plasma cortisol levels to phenotypic heterogeneity of posttraumatic stress symptomatology. Psychoneuroendocrinology 39:88-93
Pietrzak, Robert H; Huang, Yiyun; Corsi-Travali, Stefani et al. (2014) Cannabinoid type 1 receptor availability in the amygdala mediates threat processing in trauma survivors. Neuropsychopharmacology 39:2519-28
Li, Chiang-shan R; Potenza, Marc N; Lee, Dianne E et al. (2014) Decreased norepinephrine transporter availability in obesity: Positron Emission Tomography imaging with (S,S)-[(11)C]O-methylreboxetine. Neuroimage 86:306-10
Neumeister, A; Normandin, M D; Pietrzak, R H et al. (2013) Elevated brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor availability in post-traumatic stress disorder: a positron emission tomography study. Mol Psychiatry 18:1034-40
Bailey, Christopher R; Cordell, Elisabeth; Sobin, Sean M et al. (2013) Recent progress in understanding the pathophysiology of post-traumatic stress disorder: implications for targeted pharmacological treatment. CNS Drugs 27:221-32