Sex-specific association between functional neuropeptide S receptor gene (NPSR1) variants and cortisol and central stress responses
The brain neuropeptide S (NPS) system has recently generated substantial interest and may be of major relevance for central stress regulation. The NPS receptor (NPSR1) is highly expressed in the limbic system, exogenous NPS exerts pronounced anxiolytic and fear-attenuating effects in rodents and extensive close crosstalk between the NPS system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been demonstrated. In humans, associations between NPSR1 variants and anxiety and panic disorder, as well as amygdala responsiveness to fear- relevant faces and prefrontal cortex activity in a fear conditioning paradigm have been reported. Moreover, a NPSR1 sequence variant was found to be associated with cortisol stress responses in males.
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