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Platelet dense granule secretion in adolescents with conduct disorder and substance abuse: Preliminary evidence for variation in signal transduction

  • Howard B. Moss
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Howard B. Moss, M.D., Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
    Affiliations
    Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jeffrey K. Yao
    Affiliations
    Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Search for articles by this author
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      Platelet aggregation responses to agonists have been employed as peripheral indices of the physiological responsiveness and density of neurotransmitter receptors, and in investigations of membrane functioning in psychopathological conditions. In particular, there are mechanistic similarities between neuronal secretory and receptor dynamics, and those involved in platelet dense granule secretion. Consequently, we have explored the platelet dense granule secretory responses to various agonists in abstinent male adolescents who meet current psychiatric diagnostic criteria for Conduct Disorder and Psychoactive Substance Use Disorder (CD+/PSUD+) in contrast to controls (CD−/PSUD−). The results showed a significant hyporesponsivity among experimental subjects to collagen, thrombin, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), ADP plus 0.2 μgm of serotonin, and ADP plus 1.0 μgm of serotonin. Only dense granule responses to arachidonic acid did not differentiate the groups. Taken together, the lack of agonist specificity suggests that a variation in signal transduction mechanisms could account for the observed reduction in dense granule secretion among CD+/PSUD+ adolescents. Association between dense granule secretory responses and substance use behavior, and comorbid psychiatric conditions are also examined.

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