Serotonin Modulates the Correlations between Obsessive-compulsive Trait and Heart Rate Variability in Normal Healthy Subjects - A SPECT Study with [123I]ADAM and Heart Rate Variability Measurement
Che Yu Kuo , Kao Chin Chen , I Hui Lee , Huai-Hsuan Tseng , Nan Tsing Chiu , Po See Chen , Yen Kuang Yang , Wei Hung Chang *
1Department of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, 2Institute of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, 3Department of Nuclear Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, 4Department of Psychiatry, Tainan Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Tainan, Taiwan, 5Department of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Dou-Liou Branch, Yunlin, Taiwan, 6Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Received: January 20, 2021; Revised: March 30, 2021; Accepted: April 15, 2021; Published online: April 15, 2021.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Objective: The impact of serotonergic system on obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is well studied. However, the correlation between OC presentations and autonomic nervous system (ANS) is still unclear. Furthermore, whether the correlation might be modulated by serotonin is also uncertain.
Methods: We recruited eighty-nine healthy subjects. Serotonin transporter (SERT) availability by [123I]ADAM and heart rate variability (HRV) tests were measured. Symptoms checklist -90 (SCL-90) was measured for the OC presentations. The interaction between HRV and SERT availability were calculated and the correlation between HRV and OC symptoms were analyzed after stratified SERT level into two groups, split at medium.
Results: The interactions were significant in the factors of low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD). Furthermore, the significantly negative correlations between OC symptoms and the above HRV indexes existed only in subjects with higher SERT availability.
Conclusions: OC symptoms might be correlated with ANS regulations in subjects with higher SERT availability.
Keywords: autonomic nervous system, heart rate variability, obsessive compulsive symptoms, serotonin transporter availability


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