People with anorexia (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) have altered patterns of eating. It is possible that alterations of the neuropeptide gastrin releasing peptide (GRP), a bombesin (BBS) -like peptide with potent central anorexigenic activity, could contribute to disturbed eating behavior. To avoid the confounding effects of pathologic eating behavior, we measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) GRP concentrations in women who were long-term recovered (>1 year, normal weight, and regular menstrual cycles, no binging or purging) from AN (REC AN, N=12) or BN (REC BN, N=21) compared to healthy control women (NC, N=15). CSF GRP was significantly lower (chi(2)=9.41(3), p<0.01) in REC BN (9.6+/-3.1 pg/ml) compared to NC (13.4+/-5.5 pg/ml) and REC AN (11.6+/-2.9 pg/ml). Persistent GRP abnormalities after recovery from BN raise the possibility that this alteration might be trait-related and contribute to episodic hyperphagia in BN.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.