Research Article| Volume 28, ISSUE 4, P339-348, August 15, 1990

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Up-regulatory effect of estrogen on platelet 3H-imipramine binding sites in surgically menopausal women

  • Barbara B. Sherwin
    Address reprint requests to Dr. Barbara B. Sherwin. McGill University, Department of Psychology, 1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1B1, Canada.
    From the Department of Psychology, McGill University and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
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  • Barbara E. Suranyi-Cadotte
    the Douglas Hospital Research Center and Department of Psychiatry McGill University, Montreal, Canada
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      Although depressive symptoms occur in a considerable number of women following a decrease in circulating estrogen levels, a biological correlate of these modd changes has not been identified. In a prospective, double-blind, cross-over investigation of surgically menopausal women, an increase in the number of tritiated imipramine binding sites on platelets and an improvement of mood occurred with estrogen treatment and were reversed when placebo was administered. In vitro studies indicated that this effect was not due to a direct interaction of the steroid with the imipramine binding site at the same concentrations of estradiol induced in the in vivo study. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that pharmacological but not physiological doses of estrogen can enhance the density of tritiated imipramine binding sites on platelets in women.
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