, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 99-101

Frontal 5-HT2A receptors studied in depressive patients during chronic treatment by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

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To investigate adaptative changes of 5-HT2A receptors induced by SSRIs, six patients chronically treated for a depressive episode (four with fluoxetine, two with fluvoxamine) were studied with PET and [18F]setoperone. They were compared to eight untreated depressive patients. The mean frontal to cerebellum radioactivity concentration ratio, an index of the [18F]setoperone specific binding to 5-HT2A receptors, was higher in treated than in untreated patients, when age was taken into account. This suggests that chronic treatment by SSRIs could induce an up-regulation of the 5-HT2A receptors, and that 5-HT2A receptor down-regulation is not a common mechanism for the therapeutic effects of all serotoninergic antidepressive drugs.

Received: 9 January 1997 /Final version: 22 May 1997