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Brain Res. 1997 May 30;758(1-2):223-8.

Brain [3H]cAMP binding sites are unaltered in depressed suicides, but decreased by antidepressants.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Saturation binding of [3H]cAMP to the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) was measured in the soluble fraction of brain samples, obtained at post-mortem, from suicides with a firm retrospective diagnosis of depression and individually matched controls. Suicides were subdivided into those who had been free of antidepressant drugs for at least 3 months and those in whom prescription of antidepressants was clearly documented. In antidepressant-free suicides, we found no significant differences in the number or affinity of [3H]cAMP binding sites in the five regions studied. In antidepressant-treated suicides however, Bmax values were lower in all regions, reaching statistical significance in parietal cortex and amygdala. Kd values for antidepressant-treated suicides were significantly higher in parietal cortex, temporal cortex and amygdala. These results suggest the regulatory subunit of PKA is unaltered in depression, but is influenced by antidepressant drugs.

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