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Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Jan 15;41(2):184-90.

Effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on platelet serotonin parameters in major depressive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The effects of treatment with serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors on platelet 5-HT2 receptors, 5-HT reuptake sites an 5-HT uptake were studied in a double-blind trial comparing two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), paroxetine, and fluoxetine, for the treatment of major depression. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) scores and platelet 5-HT parameters were determined in 21 depressed patients at baseline, after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment, and were compared to 21 healthy controls. Antidepressant treatment did not significantly alter the density of 5-HT reuptake sites, labelled with [3H]paroxetine, or 5-HT2 receptors, labelled with [3H]LSD. However, a strong correlation was observed between the HAM-D suicidality item and 5-HT2 receptor density at baseline. A marked increase in platelet 5-HT2 receptors at baseline was observed in suicidal depressed patients compared to those with no suicidal ideation and healthy controls. Changes in [3H]paroxetine Bmax and in [3H]5-HT uptake significantly correlated with change in HAM-D score at 4 and 8 weeks respectively. These results confirm previous reports of an association between suicidality and platelet 5-HT2 receptor upregulation. Our data also lends support to the use of platelet 5-HT parameters as indicators of antidepressant efficacy, particularly in suicidal depressed patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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