Global decrease of serotonin-1A receptor binding after electroconvulsive therapy in major depression measured by PET.
ABSTRACT Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a potent therapy in severe treatment-refractory depression. Although commonly applied in psychiatric clinical routine since decades, the exact neurobiological mechanism regarding its efficacy remains unclear. Results from preclinical and clinical studies emphasize a crucial involvement of the serotonin-1A receptor (5-HT(1A)) in the mode of action of antidepressant treatment. This includes associations between treatment response and changes in 5-HT(1A) function and density by antidepressants. Further, alterations of the 5-HT(1A) receptor are consistently reported in depression. To elucidate the effect of ECT on 5-HT(1A) receptor binding, 12 subjects with severe treatment-resistant major depression underwent three positron emission tomography (PET) measurements using the highly selective radioligand [carbonyl-(11)C]WAY100635, twice before (test-retest variability) and once after 10.08±2.35 ECT sessions. Ten patients (∼83%) were responders to ECT. The voxel-wise comparison of the 5-HT(1A) receptor binding (BP(ND)) before and after ECT revealed a widespread reduction in cortical and subcortical regions (P<0.05 corrected), except for the occipital cortex and the cerebellum. Strongest reductions were found in regions consistently reported to be altered in major depression and involved in emotion regulation, such as the subgenual part of the anterior cingulate cortex (-27.5%), the orbitofrontal cortex (-30.1%), the amygdala (-31.8%), the hippocampus (-30.6%) and the insula (-28.9%). No significant change was found in the raphe nuclei. There was no significant difference in receptor binding in any region comparing the first two PET scans conducted before ECT. This PET study proposes a global involvement of the postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptor binding in the effect of ECT.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 3 July 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.93.
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ABSTRACT: Several new antidepressants that inhibit the serotonin (SERT) and norepinephrine transporters (NET) have been introduced into clinical practice the past several years. This report focuses on the further pharmacologic characterization of nefazodone and its metabolites within the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems, in comparison with other antidepressants. By use of radioligand binding assays, we measured the affinity (Ki) of 13 antidepressants and 6 metabolites for the rat and human SERT and NET. The Ki values for eight of the antidepressants and three metabolites were also determined for the rat 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and muscarinic cholinergic receptors, the guinea pig histamine1 receptor and the human alpha-1 and alpha-2 receptors. These data are useful for predicting side effect profiles and the potential for pharmacodynamic drug-drug interactions of antidepressants. Of particular interest were the findings that paroxetine, generally thought of as a selective SERT antagonist, possesses moderately high affinity for the NET and that venlafaxine, which has been described as a "dual uptake inhibitor", possesses weak affinity for the NET. We observed significant correlations in SERT (r = 0.965) or NET (r = 0.983) affinity between rat and human transporters. Significant correlations were also observed between muscarinic cholinergic and NET affinity. There are several significant correlations between affinities for the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, histamine1, alpha-1 and alpha-2 receptors. These novel findings, not widely described previously, suggest that many of the individual drugs studied in these experiments possess some structural characteristic that determines affinity for several G protein-coupled, but not muscarinic, receptors.Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 01/1998; 283(3):1305-22. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: About 30% of people with depression do not respond to an antidepressant at the recommended dose and can be described as having treatment-refractory depression. To summarise the findings from all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that have assessed the efficacy of a pharmacological or psychological intervention for treatment-refractory depression. We used a systematic search strategy to identify RCTs that included adults aged 18-75 years with a diagnosis of unipolar depression that had not responded to a 4-week course of a recommended dose of an antidepressant. We identified 16 RCTs. None of the included trials assessed the efficacy of psychotherapy. All the trials were too small to detect an important clinical response. We found only two trials on lithium augmentation, which randomised 50 subjects in total. There is little evidence to guide the management of depression that has not responded to a course of antidepressants. Treatment-refractory depression is an important public health problem and large pragmatic trials are needed to inform clinical practice.The British Journal of Psychiatry 11/2002; 181:284-94. · 6.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, the term serotonergic vulnerability (SV) has been used in scientific literature, but so far it has not been explicitly defined. This review article attempts to elucidate the SV concept. SV can be defined as increased sensitivity to natural or experimental alterations of the serotonergic (5-HTergic) system. Several factors that may disrupt the 5-HTergic system and hence contribute to SV are discussed, including genetic factors, female gender, personality characteristics, several types of stress and drug use. It is explained that SV can be demonstrated by means of manipulations of the 5-HTergic system, such as 5-HT challenges or acute tryptophan depletion (ATD). Results of 5-HT challenge studies and ATD studies are discussed in terms of their implications for the concept of SV. A model is proposed in which a combination of various factors that may compromise 5-HT functioning in one person can result in depression or other 5-HT-related pathology. By manipulating 5-HT levels, in particular with ATD, vulnerable subjects may be identified before pathology initiates, providing the opportunity to take preventive action. Although it is not likely that this model applies to all cases of depression, or is able to identify all vulnerable subjects, the strength of the model is that it may enable identification of vulnerable subjects before the 5-HT related pathology occurs.Molecular Psychiatry 07/2007; 12(6):522-43. · 14.90 Impact Factor