Altmaier, E, et al., Metabolomic Profiles in Individuals with Negative Affectivity and Social Inhibition: A Population-Based Study of Type D Personality. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2012. 38(1299-1309.


Metabolon results led to:
- A strong metabolic association in subjects with Type D personality in a large population study
- Metabolic confirmation for the validity of the clinical grading of Type D
- A new hypotheses for pursuing the link between Type D personality and cardiovascular disease

Key metabolomic observations:
- Association of tryptophan pathway metabolites (kynurenine) with subjects with Type D personality

The Type D personality is a type of psychological “distress’’ where subjects also have increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). To reveal clues about this connection, a metabolomic approach of 1502 subjects (386 classified as Type D) was performed. Lower levels of the tryptophan metabolite kynurenine were associated with Type D. This association was Type D specific with no association with the overlapping conditions of depression and anxiety, suggesting that the Type D construct may have good clinical utility compared to more traditional measures of psychological distress. Also, the kynurenine association connects the CVD outcomes and anxiety to other reported measures of Type D such as changes in cortisol and oxidative stress (both of which can affect tryptophan metabolizing enzymes and kynurenine levels). Thus, this work indicates that the application of metabolomics in population studies is valuable for revealing mechanisms that may contribute to psychological health and disease.

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