Background: There are numerous reports of decreased binding to platelet serotonin transporter (5-HTT) in depression, suggesting that it might be considered a trait marker of depression. To further investigate whether reduced 5-HTT function could be an endophenotype in manic depressive illness, we looked for abnormalities of platelet 5-HTT among subjects who are potential carriers of genetic vulnerability to manic depressive illness (MDI).
Methods: Blood samples were obtained from 20 unaffected relatives from families with at least two individuals with bipolar disorder and from 19 control participants. Plasma 5-HIAA, platelet 5-HT, and [3H] imipramine binding were measured.
Results: Unaffected relatives manifested lower platelet 5-HTT function than control participants as revealed both by reduced number and diminished affinity of imipramine binding sites and diminished platelet 5-HT content.
Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that reduced 5-HTT function could be considered a trait marker or an endophenotype in MDI.
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Accepted: June 23, 1999
Received in revised form: June 21, 1999
Received: April 20, 1999
© 1999 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.