Independent elevation of peripheral oxytocin concentrations and reduction in cognitive empathy during 4-fluoroamphetamine intoxication

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) is a novel psychoactive substance with a pharmacological profile and reported subjective effects (e.g., empathy) intermediate between 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and amphetamine. Studies have shown that MDMA and amphetamine increase emotional empathy without affecting cognitive empathy; MDMA simultaneously leads to elevated levels of oxytocin, unrelated to its behavioral effects. The aim of the present study was to assess the reported enhancement of empathy by 4-FA, to assess its effects on oxytocin, and to test potential associations between both.

METHODS: Twelve healthy poly-drug users were included in a double-blind placebo-controlled two-way crossover study. Treatments were 4-FA (100 mg) and placebo; empathy was assessed by means of the multifaceted empathy test, and blood samples were taken before and after treatment administration to determine oxytocin concentrations.

RESULTS: 4-FA reduced cognitive empathy, whereas emotional empathy was left unaffected. One hour after treatment, plasma oxytocin levels were significantly increased compared with placebo. Behavioral and hormonal effects were unrelated.

CONCLUSION: Although 4-FA shares its pharmacological mechanism with MDMA and amphetamine, current findings seem to indicate that it affects empathy differently. The 4-FA-induced increase in oxytocin levels was independent of behavioral effects, which confirms previous findings that drug-induced effects on peripheral oxytocin levels are not associated with empathy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2680
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental
Volume33
Issue number6
Early online date25 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • 4-fluoroamphetamine
  • ALCOHOL
  • D-AMPHETAMINE
  • INTRANASAL OXYTOCIN
  • MDMA
  • METHAMPHETAMINE
  • MULTIFACETED EMPATHY
  • PERFORMANCE
  • POSITIVE EMOTIONS
  • RECEPTORS
  • SOCIAL COGNITION
  • cognitive and emotional empathy
  • multifaceted empathy test
  • novel psychoactive substance
  • peripheral oxytocin concentration

Cite this

@article{4fd4e33a0c9e48b384af6060327d74a0,
title = "Independent elevation of peripheral oxytocin concentrations and reduction in cognitive empathy during 4-fluoroamphetamine intoxication",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) is a novel psychoactive substance with a pharmacological profile and reported subjective effects (e.g., empathy) intermediate between 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and amphetamine. Studies have shown that MDMA and amphetamine increase emotional empathy without affecting cognitive empathy; MDMA simultaneously leads to elevated levels of oxytocin, unrelated to its behavioral effects. The aim of the present study was to assess the reported enhancement of empathy by 4-FA, to assess its effects on oxytocin, and to test potential associations between both.METHODS: Twelve healthy poly-drug users were included in a double-blind placebo-controlled two-way crossover study. Treatments were 4-FA (100 mg) and placebo; empathy was assessed by means of the multifaceted empathy test, and blood samples were taken before and after treatment administration to determine oxytocin concentrations.RESULTS: 4-FA reduced cognitive empathy, whereas emotional empathy was left unaffected. One hour after treatment, plasma oxytocin levels were significantly increased compared with placebo. Behavioral and hormonal effects were unrelated.CONCLUSION: Although 4-FA shares its pharmacological mechanism with MDMA and amphetamine, current findings seem to indicate that it affects empathy differently. The 4-FA-induced increase in oxytocin levels was independent of behavioral effects, which confirms previous findings that drug-induced effects on peripheral oxytocin levels are not associated with empathy.",
keywords = "4-fluoroamphetamine, ALCOHOL, D-AMPHETAMINE, INTRANASAL OXYTOCIN, MDMA, METHAMPHETAMINE, MULTIFACETED EMPATHY, PERFORMANCE, POSITIVE EMOTIONS, RECEPTORS, SOCIAL COGNITION, cognitive and emotional empathy, multifaceted empathy test, novel psychoactive substance, peripheral oxytocin concentration",
author = "Dolder, {Patrick C} and {de Sousa Fernandes Perna}, {Elizabeth B} and Mason, {Natasha L} and Hutten, {Nadia R P W} and Toennes, {Stefan W} and Theunissen, {Eef L} and Ramaekers, {Johannes G} and Kuypers, {Kim P C}",
note = "{\circledC} 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.",
year = "2018",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1002/hup.2680",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
journal = "Human Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental",
issn = "0885-6222",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Independent elevation of peripheral oxytocin concentrations and reduction in cognitive empathy during 4-fluoroamphetamine intoxication

AU - Dolder, Patrick C

AU - de Sousa Fernandes Perna, Elizabeth B

AU - Mason, Natasha L

AU - Hutten, Nadia R P W

AU - Toennes, Stefan W

AU - Theunissen, Eef L

AU - Ramaekers, Johannes G

AU - Kuypers, Kim P C

N1 - © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PY - 2018/11

Y1 - 2018/11

N2 - OBJECTIVES: 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) is a novel psychoactive substance with a pharmacological profile and reported subjective effects (e.g., empathy) intermediate between 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and amphetamine. Studies have shown that MDMA and amphetamine increase emotional empathy without affecting cognitive empathy; MDMA simultaneously leads to elevated levels of oxytocin, unrelated to its behavioral effects. The aim of the present study was to assess the reported enhancement of empathy by 4-FA, to assess its effects on oxytocin, and to test potential associations between both.METHODS: Twelve healthy poly-drug users were included in a double-blind placebo-controlled two-way crossover study. Treatments were 4-FA (100 mg) and placebo; empathy was assessed by means of the multifaceted empathy test, and blood samples were taken before and after treatment administration to determine oxytocin concentrations.RESULTS: 4-FA reduced cognitive empathy, whereas emotional empathy was left unaffected. One hour after treatment, plasma oxytocin levels were significantly increased compared with placebo. Behavioral and hormonal effects were unrelated.CONCLUSION: Although 4-FA shares its pharmacological mechanism with MDMA and amphetamine, current findings seem to indicate that it affects empathy differently. The 4-FA-induced increase in oxytocin levels was independent of behavioral effects, which confirms previous findings that drug-induced effects on peripheral oxytocin levels are not associated with empathy.

AB - OBJECTIVES: 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) is a novel psychoactive substance with a pharmacological profile and reported subjective effects (e.g., empathy) intermediate between 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and amphetamine. Studies have shown that MDMA and amphetamine increase emotional empathy without affecting cognitive empathy; MDMA simultaneously leads to elevated levels of oxytocin, unrelated to its behavioral effects. The aim of the present study was to assess the reported enhancement of empathy by 4-FA, to assess its effects on oxytocin, and to test potential associations between both.METHODS: Twelve healthy poly-drug users were included in a double-blind placebo-controlled two-way crossover study. Treatments were 4-FA (100 mg) and placebo; empathy was assessed by means of the multifaceted empathy test, and blood samples were taken before and after treatment administration to determine oxytocin concentrations.RESULTS: 4-FA reduced cognitive empathy, whereas emotional empathy was left unaffected. One hour after treatment, plasma oxytocin levels were significantly increased compared with placebo. Behavioral and hormonal effects were unrelated.CONCLUSION: Although 4-FA shares its pharmacological mechanism with MDMA and amphetamine, current findings seem to indicate that it affects empathy differently. The 4-FA-induced increase in oxytocin levels was independent of behavioral effects, which confirms previous findings that drug-induced effects on peripheral oxytocin levels are not associated with empathy.

KW - 4-fluoroamphetamine

KW - ALCOHOL

KW - D-AMPHETAMINE

KW - INTRANASAL OXYTOCIN

KW - MDMA

KW - METHAMPHETAMINE

KW - MULTIFACETED EMPATHY

KW - PERFORMANCE

KW - POSITIVE EMOTIONS

KW - RECEPTORS

KW - SOCIAL COGNITION

KW - cognitive and emotional empathy

KW - multifaceted empathy test

KW - novel psychoactive substance

KW - peripheral oxytocin concentration

U2 - 10.1002/hup.2680

DO - 10.1002/hup.2680

M3 - Article

C2 - 30357914

VL - 33

JO - Human Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental

JF - Human Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental

SN - 0885-6222

IS - 6

M1 - 2680

ER -