Title
Decreased platelet alpha-2 adrenoceptor density in major depression : effects of tricyclic antidepressants and fluoxetine
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
New York, N.Y. ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Biological psychiatry. - New York, N.Y.
Volume/pages
45(1999) :3 , p. 278-284
ISSN
0006-3223
ISI
000078518800006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Background: It has been suggested that major depression is accompanied by a subsensitivity of central alpha 2-adrenoceptors (alpha 2-ARs) and, consequently, by an impaired negative feedback on the presynaptic catecholaminergic neuron, which, in turn, may induce a disinhibition of noradrenergic output and norepinephrine release in response to any activation. Methods: The maximum number of platelet binding sites (Bmax) and their affinity for [H-3]-rauwolscine, a selective alpha 2-AR antagonist, were measured in unmedicated and medicated major depressed patients and in normal volunteers. Specific binding was defined as that inhibited by idazoxan, another alpha 2-AR antagonist. Results: Unmedicated major depressed patients had significantly decreased platelet [H-3]-rauwolscine binding Bmax values compared to normal volunteers. [H-3]-rauwolscine binding K-d values did not differ significantly between unmedicated major depressed patients and normal controls. [H-3]-rauwolscine binding Bmax or K-d values. [H-3]-rauwolscine binding Bmax values were significantly greater in men than in women. Conclusions: The results suggest that i) major depression is accompanied by decreased platelet alpha 2-AR density; and the ii) subchronic treatment with tricyclic antidepressants, but not fluoxetine, results in a decreased affinity of rauwolscine for platelet alpha 2-ARs. Biol Psychiatry 1999; 45:278-284 (C) 1999 Society of Biological Psychiatry.
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