Increased serotonin2 and beta-adrenergic receptor binding in the frontal cortices of suicide victims.
ABSTRACT A statistically significant 28% increase in the mean (+/- SD) number of serotonin2 receptors (127.8 +/- 13.4 vs 99.6 +/- 11.1 fmol/mg of protein) and a 73% increase in beta-adrenergic receptor binding (14.5 +/- 1.5 vs 8.4 +/- 1.5 fmol/mg) was found in the frontal cortices of violent suicide victims compared with matched controls. No significant differences were found in the number of serotonin1 binding sites (109.5 +/- 13.4 vs 99.9 +/- 8.8 fmol/mg). We have previously reported a reduced density of presynaptic tritiated imipramine binding sites on serotonergic nerve terminals in the frontal cortices of suicide victims. These data support the hypothesis that suicide completed by violent methods is associated with reduced presynaptic serotonergic activity that has generated compensatory upregulation of the postsynaptic serotonin2 receptor sites. The increase observed in beta-adrenergic binding suggests that there may also be a concomitant reduction in presynaptic noradrenergic activity associated with suicide. If antidepressant pharmacotherapies specifically downregulate cortical beta-adrenergic and/or serotonin2 receptors in depressed subjects, as has been demonstrated in animal studies, and since these effects would be in the opposite direction of the receptor changes found in suicide victims, they may account for the therapeutic action of antidepressants on suicidal behavior and depressive disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Background Brain α2- and β-adrenoceptor alterations have been suggested in suicide and major depressive disorder. Methods The densities of α2-, β1- and β2-adrenoceptors in postmortem prefrontal cortex of 26 subjects with depression were compared with those of age-, gender- and postmortem delay-matched controls. The effect of antidepressant treatment on α2- and β-adrenoceptor densities was also evaluated. α2- and β-adrenoceptor densities were measured by saturation experiments with respective radioligands [3H]UK14304 and [3H]CGP12177. β1- and β2-adrenoceptor subtype densities were dissected by means of β1-adrenoceptor selective antagonist CGP20712A. Results Both, α2- and β1-adrenoceptors densities were higher in antidepressant-free depressed subjects (n=14) than those in matched controls (Δ~24%, p=0.013 and Δ~20%, p=0.044, respectively). In antidepressant-treated subjects (n=12), α2-adrenoceptor density remained increased over that in controls (Δ~20%), suggesting a resistance of α2-adrenoceptors to the down-regulatory effect of antidepressants. By contrast, β1-adrenoceptor density in antidepressant-treated depressed subjects was not different from controls, suggesting a possible down-regulation by antidepressants. The down-regulation of β1-adrenoceptor density in antidepressant-treated depressed subjects differs from the unaltered β1-adrenoceptor density observed in citalopram-treated rats and in a group of non-depressed subjects also treated with antidepressants (n=6). β2-adrenoceptor density was not altered in depressed subjects independently of treatment. Limitations Antidepressant-treated subjects had been treated with a heterogeneous variety of antidepressant drugs. The results should be understood in the context of suicide victims with depression. Conclusions These results show the up-regulation of brain α2- and β1-adrenoceptors in depression and suggest that the regulation induced by chronic antidepressant treatment would be altered in these subjects.Journal of Affective Disorders 10/2014; 167:343–350. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.016 · 3.71 Impact Factor