Urinary peptide levels in women with eating disorders. A pilot study

  • M. Hellzén
  • J. O. Larsson
  • K. L. Reichelt
  • P. A. Rydelius
Original Research Paper


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the urinary excretion of low molecular weight peptides is increased in women with a history of anorexia nervosa/self starvation. The study group consisted of 12 women aged 20–38 years who were treated in a specialised day care unit for eating disorders in Stockholm between January and December 1998; the controls were eight women with primary bulimia treated in the same unit (A) and ten healthy women without any eating disorder (B). The chromatographically measured urinary peptide levels in the study group were significantly higher than those in control group A (and B when one highly influential individual with very low peptide excretion in the study group was excluded from the analyses). These findings offer some support to the speculative hypothesis that eating disorder symptoms may be linked to increased levels of neuroactive peptides, although it is necessary to define the peptides further before any definite conclusion can be drawn. Furthermore, the study group was characterised by many interpersonal differences in eating behaviour that could explain the increased urinary peptide levels.

Key words

Eating disorders bulimia anorexia urinary peptides 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    APA. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Ed. 4 (DSM-IV). Washington, DC, APA Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ward A., Tiller J., Treasure J., Russell G.: Eating disorders: psyche or soma? Int. J. Eat. Disord., 27, 279–287, 2000.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kipman A., Gorwood P., Mouren-Simeoni M.C., Ades J.: Genetic factors in anorexia nervosa. European Psychiatry. J. Assoc. European Psychiatrists, 14, 189–198, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Copeland P.M., Sacks N.R., Herzog D.B.: Longitudinal follow-up of amenorrhea in eating disorders. Psychosom. Med., 57, 121–126, 1995.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Klibanski A., Biller B.M., Schoenfeld D.A., Herzog D.B., Saxe V.C.: The effects of estrogen administration on trabecular bone loss in young women with anorexia nervosa. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 80, 898–904, 1995.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stacher G., Abatzi-Wenzel T.A., Wiesnagrotzki S., Bergmann H., Schneider C., Gaupmann G.: Gastric emptying, body weight and symptoms in primary anorexia nervosa. Long-term effects of cisapride [see comments]. Br. J. Psychiatry, 162, 398–402, 1993.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    de Simone G., Scalfì L., Galderisi M., Celentano A., Di Biase G., Tammaro P., et al.: Cardiac abnormalities in young women with anorexia nervosa. Br. Heart J. 71, 287–292, 1994.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Muller B., Herpertz S., Heussen N., Neudorfl A., Wewetzer C., Remschmidt H., et al.: Personality disorders and psychiatric morbidity in adolescent anorexia nervosa. Results of a prospective 10 year catamnesis. Z. Kinder Jugendpsychiatr., 28, 81–91, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    NiIsson E.W, Gillberg C., Gillberg I.C., Rastam M.: Ten-year follow-up of adolescent-onset anorexia nervosa: personality disorders. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 38, 1389–1395, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Godart N.T., Flament M.F., Lecrubier Y., Jeammet P.: Anxiety disorders in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: co-morbidity and chronology of appearance. European Psychiatry. J. Assoc. Eur. Psychiatrists, 15, 38–45, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Favaro A., Santonastaso P.: Suicidality in eating disorders: clinical and psychological correlates. Acta Psychiatr. Scand., 95, 508–514, 1997.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kaye V.M., Gendall K., Kye C.: The role of the central nervous system in the psychoneuroendocrine disturbances of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Psychiatr. Clin. North Am., 21, 381–396, 1998.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pirke K.M.: Central and peripheral noradrenalin regulation in eating disorders. Psychiatry Res., 62, 43–49, 1996.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Brewerton T.D.: Toward a unified theory of serotonin dysregulation in eating and related disorders. Psychoneuroendocrinol., 20, 561–590, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rockwell W.J., Nishita J.K., Ellinwood E.H. Jr.: Anorexia nervosa. Current perspectives in research. Psychiatr. Clin North Am., 7, 223–233, 1984.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kaye V.M., Berrettini W., Gwirtsman H., George D.T.: Altered cerebrospinal fluid neuropeptide Y and peptide YY immunoreactivity in anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 47, 548–556, 1990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Trygstad O.E. Reichelt K.L., Foss I., Edminson P.D., Saelid G., Bremer J., et al.: Patterns of peptides and protein-associated-peptide complexes in psychiatric disorders. Br. J. Psychiatry, 136, 59–72, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yarbrough G.G.: TRH potentiates excitatory actions of acetylcholine on cerebral cortical neurones. Nature, 263, 523–524, 1976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Versteeg D.H., Tanaka M., De Kloet E.R., Van Ree J.M., De Wied D.: ProlyI-leucyl glycinamide, (PLG); regional effects on alpha-MPT-induced catecholamine disappearance in rat brain. Brain Res., 143, 561–566, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Reichelt K.L., Foss I., Trygstad O., Edminson P.D., Johansen J.H., Boler J.B.: Humoral control of appetite-IL Purification and characterization of an anorexogenic peptide from human urine. Neuroscience, 3, 1207–1211, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nance D.M., Coy D.H., Kastin A.L.: Experiments with a reported anorexigenic tripeptide: pyro-GIu-His-Gly-OH. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 11, 733–735, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bjorkman S., KarIsson J.A., Sievertsson H., Lewander T., Bowers C.Y.: Synthesis and lack of biological activity of GIu-His-Gly, a proposed anorexogenic peptide. Acta Pharm. Suec., 17, 130–136, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bodlund O., Grann M., Ottosson H., Svanborg C.: Validation of the self-report questionnaire DIP-Q in diagnosing DSM-IV personality disorders: a comparison of three psychiatric samples. Acta Psychiatr. Scand., 97, 433–439, 1998.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bohlen P., Castillo F., Ling N., Guillemin R.: Purification of peptides: an efficient procedure for the separation of peptides from amino acids and salt. Int. J. Pept. Protein Res., 16, 306–310, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Reichelt V.M., Ek J., Stensrud M., Reichelt K.L.: Peptide excretion in celiac disease. J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr., 26, 305–309, 1998.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Stata. Stata User’s Guide [Computer program ma-nual]. College Station, Stata Press, Texas, 1999.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Watanabe Y., Kojima-Komatsu T., Iwaki-Egawa S., Fujimoto Y.: Increased excretion of proline-containing peptides in dipeptidyl pepti-dase IV-deficient rats. Res. Commun. Chem. Pathol. Pharmacol., 81, 323–330, 1993.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Gardner M.L.G.: Absorption of intact proteins and peptides. In: Johnson L.R. (Ed.), Physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. New York, Raven Press, 1994, pp. 1795–1820.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Maxton D.G., Menzies I.S., Slavin B., Thompson R.P.: Small-intestinal function during enteral feeding and starvation in man. Clin. Sci., 77, 401–406, 1989.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Husby S., Jensenius J.C., Svehag SE.: Passage of undegraded dietary antigen into the blood of healthy adults. Quantification, estimation of size distribution, and relation of uptake to levels of specific antibodies. Scand. J. Immunol., 22, 83–92, 1985.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Hellzén
    • 1
  • J. O. Larsson
    • 1
  • K. L. Reichelt
    • 2
  • P. A. Rydelius
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAstrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital, The Karolinska HospitalStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Institute of Pediatric ResearchRikshospitaletOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations