Platelet alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in schizophrenic patients before and after phenothiazine treatment.
The specific binding to isolated platelet membranes of 3H-clonidine, an alpha 2-adrenergic receptor partial agonist, and 3H-yohimbine, an alpha 2-adrenergic receptor antagonist, was measured in male, drug-free schizophrenic patients. The maximum number of binding sites (Bmax) for 3H-yohimbine was significantly lower in these patients than in normal subjects. Treatment with chlorpromazine (CPZ) for 2 weeks further decreased the Bmax for both ligands. Plasma catecholamine levels were determined before and after treatment. Before treatment, levels of dopamine and norepinephrine (NE) were within a normal range, while epinephrine (E) levels were significantly elevated. CPZ treatment significantly increased plasma NE levels, but decreased E levels to a normal range. These observations suggest that schizophrenia might be associated with abnormal noradrenergic function that is reflected by a decreased number of platelet alpha 2-adrenergic receptors.
Rice, HE; Smith, CB; Silk, KR; Rosen, J
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