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5-HT(2A) receptor binding is reduced in drug-naive and unchanged in SSRI-responder depressed patients compared to healthy controls: a PET study

AuthorsMessa, Cristina; Artigas, Francesc
KeywordsMajor depression
Serotonin receptors
Emission tomography
Issue Date11-Mar-2003
CitationPsychopharmacology 167(1): 72-78 (2003)
Abstract[Objective]: The aim of the study was to investigate differences in 5-HT2A receptor binding between healthy volunteers and patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), either never treated before with antidepressants (drug-naive: DN) or responding to paroxetine treatment (drug-treated: DT)
[Methods]: Nineteen DN patients with MDD and 15 euthymic DT (paroxetine 4 weeks) patients were compared with a group of 20 healthy controls (C) with positron emission tomography (PET) using [(18)F]fluoroethylspiperone ([(18)F]FESP), a 5-HT(2A) and D(2) receptor antagonist. A "binding index" (BI) of [(18)F]FESP to cortical and basal ganglia regions was calculated as the ratio of the activity in these regions to that of cerebellum. Differences in BI between groups, i.e. C versus DN or DT, were assessed by ANOVA, with or without age as covariate (ANCOVA).
[Results]: A significant reduction in BI ( P=0.003 ANOVA, P=0.001 ANCOVA) was found in DN patients in the frontal, occipital, temporal and cingulate cortices, but not in the striatum. No significant differences emerged between C and DT patients.
[Conclusions]: The reduction of [(18)F]FESP BI in cortical areas of DN depressed, but not of euthymic DT patients suggests an association between the occurrence of depressive symptoms and impairment of cortical 5-HT(2A) receptors. [(18)F]FESP cortical BI may represent a state marker of depression.
DescriptionCristina Messa et al.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-002-1379-5
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