Increased Serotonin Receptor Binding In Specific Brain Areas Of Suicide Victims

June 30, 1997

5-HT1D and 5-HT1E/1F binding sites in depressed suicides: increased 5-HT1D binding in globus pallidus but not cortex

S Lowther, CLE Katona, MR Crompton, and RW Horton Departments of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology and Forensic Medicine, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, and the Department of Psychiatry, University College London Medical School, UK.

There is substantial evidence implicating altered serotonergic function in depression. While some subtypes of 5-HT receptors have been extensively studied in relation to depression, others have yet to be investigated. In this study, the authors have examined 5-HT1D and 5-HT1E/1F binding sites in brain tissue obtained post-mortem from suicides with a retrospective diagnosis of depression and matched controls. Higher 5-HT1D binding was found in globus pallidus of suicides free from antidepressant drug treatment, and was largely restricted to those who died by violent means. There were no differences in 5-HT1D binding in putamen, parietal or frontal cortex and no differences in 5-HT1E/1F binding in any of the regions studied.

For further information, please contact the corresponding author, Dr. Sandra Lowther at St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK; e-mail:; Tel.: +44-181-725-5630; Fax: +44-181-767-5645.

Molecular Psychiatry

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