The dynorphin/κ-opioid receptor (KOP-R) system has been shown to play a role in different types of behavior regulation, including reward-related behavior and drug craving. It has been shown that alleles with 3 or 4 repeats (HH genotype) of the variable nucleotide tandem repeat (68-bp VNTR) functional polymorphism of the prodynorphin (PDYN) gene are associated with higher levels of dynorphin peptides than alleles with 1 or 2 repeats (LL genotype). We used fMRI on N = 71 prescreened healthy participants to investigate the effect of this polymorphism on cerebral activation in the limbic-corticostriatal loop during reward anticipation. Individuals with the HH genotype showed higher activation than those with the LL genotype in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) when anticipating a possible monetary reward. In addition, the HH genotype showed stronger functional coupling (as assessed by effective connectivity analyses) of mOFC with VMPFC, subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, and ventral striatum during reward anticipation. This hints at a larger sensitivity for upcoming rewards in individuals with the HH genotype, resulting in a higher motivation to attain these rewards. These findings provide first evidence in humans that the PDYN polymorphism modulates neural processes associated with the anticipation of rewards, which ultimately may help to explain differences between genotypes with respect to addiction and drug abuse.
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Medicinska grundvetenskaper -- Neurovetenskaper (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Basic Medicine -- Neurosciences (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Medicinska grundvetenskaper -- Fysiologi (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Basic Medicine -- Physiology (hsv//eng)