Improvement of prepulse inhibition and executive function by the COMT inhibitor tolcapone depends on COMT Val158Met polymorphism

Stella G Giakoumaki, Panos Roussos, Panos Bitsios
Neuropsychopharmacology 2008, 33 (13): 3058-68
Recent evidence suggests that prepulse inhibition (PPI) levels relate to executive function possibly by a prefrontal cortex (PFC) dopamine (DA) link. We explored the effects of enhanced PFC DA signaling by the nonstimulant catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor tolcapone, on PPI and working memory of subjects homozygous for the Val (low PFC DA) and the Met (high PFC DA) alleles of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. Twelve Val/Val and eleven Met/Met healthy male subjects entered the study. Tolcapone 200 mg was administered in two weekly sessions, according to a balanced, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. PPI was assessed with 5 dB and 15 dB above background prepulses, at 30-, 60-, and 120 ms prepulse-pulse intervals. Subjects also underwent the n-back and the letter-number sequencing (LNS) tasks. PPI was lower in the Val/Val compared to the Met/Met group in the placebo condition. Tolcapone increased PPI significantly in the Val/Val group and tended to have the opposite effect in the Met/Met group. Baseline startle was not affected by tolcapone in the Val/Val group but it was slightly increased in the Met/Met group. Tolcapone improved performance in the n-back and LNS tasks only in the Val/Val group. Enhancement of PFC DA signaling with tolcapone improves both PPI and working memory in a COMT Val158Met genotype-specific manner. These results suggest that early information processing and working memory may both depend on PFC DA signaling, and that they may both relate to PFC DA levels according to an inverted U-shaped curve function.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"