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Psychiatry Res. 2013 Oct 30;209(3):447-52. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.12.024. Epub 2013 Jan 26.

Increase in nitric oxide levels and mitochondrial membrane potential in platelets of untreated patients with major depression.

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Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría "Ramón de la Fuente", Mexico; Hospital Ginecología No. 3, Centro Médico "La Raza", Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico.


Alterations in platelet activity have been associated with the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) and with ischemic cardiovascular events through mechanisms that remain unknown. The present study evaluated nitric oxide (NO) levels, mitochondrial membrane potential (PMMP), and P-selectin expression in platelets from 30 untreated MDD patients and 30 matched controls by flow cytometry. In addition, tryptophan and serotonin concentrations were measured in the whole blood by high performance liquid chromatography. Patients were assessed with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. The patients had not had antidepressant treatment or any other pharmacological interventions for at least 1 year. MDD patients significantly differed from controls in levels of major fluorescent platelets for NO, PMMP, and P-selectin compared with those observed in control subjects. Serotonin concentrations in MDD patients did not differ from those in controls These results demonstrate that untreated MDD patients show increased platelet activation, suggesting an alteration in the platelet function.


Major depressive disorder; Mitochondria; Nitric oxide synthesis; Platelet mitochondrial membrane potential; Platelets

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