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Clin Neuropharmacol. 2001 May-Jun;24(3):129-32.

Platelet glutamate receptor supersensitivity in major depressive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Dysregulation of glutamate has been described in depression, and supersensitivity of platelet glutamate receptors has been found in both psychotic major depression and schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to examine the platelet glutamate receptor sensitivity in patients with nonpsychotic, unipolar major depression to assess whether this is a marker of depression or of psychosis. Glutamate receptor sensitivity was assessed using the platelet intracellular calcium response to glutamate (0-100 micromol) measured by spectrofluorometry. The depression group showed a significantly greater platelet intracellular calcium response to glutamate stimulation than the control group, both in terms of absolute values (p = 0.007) and percentage of response from baseline (p = 0.030). These data suggest that platelet glutamate receptors may be supersensitive in depression and that the platelet may be a possible peripheral marker of glutamate function in depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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