Platelet alpha2A-adrenoceptor function in major depression: Gi coupling, effects of imipramine and relationship to treatment outcome.
Studies suggest alpha2A-adrenoceptors (alpha(2A)AR) dysregulation in major depressive disorder (MDD). Platelet alpha(2A)ARs exist in high- and low-conformational states that are regulated by Gi protein. Although alpha(2A)AR coupling to Gi protein plays an important role in signal transduction and is modulated by antidepressants, it has not been previously investigated. Alpha2AR density in the high- and low-conformational states, agonist affinity and coupling efficiency were investigated in 27 healthy control subjects, 23 drug-free MDD patients and 16 patients after imipramine treatment using [3H]yohimbine saturation and norepinephrine displacement of [3H]yohimbine binding experiments. Coupling measures were derived from NE-displacement experiments. Patients had significantly higher alpha(2A)AR density, particularly in the high-conformational state, than control subjects. Coupling indices were normal in patients. High pre-treatment agonist affinity to the receptor in the high-conformational state and normal coupling predicted positive treatment outcome. Decreased coupling to Gi predicted a negative treatment outcome. Imipramine induced uncoupling (-11%) and redistribution of receptor density in treatment responders only, but had no effect on alpha(2A)AR coupling or density in treatment non-responders. Increased alpha(2A)AR density may represent a trait marker in MDD. The results provide indirect evidence for abnormal protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) in MDD which may be pursued in future investigations.
Gurguis, GN; Vo, SP; Griffith, JM; Rush, AJ
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)