The high-affinity tritiated (3H) imipramine binding sites are functionally (and perhaps structurally) associated with the presynaptic neuronal and platelet uptake sites for serotonin. Since there is an excellent correlation between the relative potencies of a series of antidepressants in displacing 3H-imipramine from binding sites in human brain and platelet, we have examined the binding of 3H-imipramine to platelets from 14 depressed patients and 28 age- and sex-matched controls. A highly significant decrease in the number of 3H-imipramine binding sites, with no significant change in the apparent affinity constants, was observed in platelets from the depressed patients compared with the controls. These results, coupled with previous studies showing a significant decrease in the maximal uptake of serotonin in platelets from depressed patients, suggest that an inherited or acquired deficiency of the serotonin transport protein or proteins may be involved in the pathogenesis of depression.
|Number of pages
|Archives of General Psychiatry
|Published - Dec 1981