, Volume 70, Issue 3-4, pp 377-381

Increasedα 2; -adrenoceptor density in the frontal cortex of depressed suicide victims

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The density of brainα 2-adrenoceptors, quantitated by means of the binding of the agonist [3H]clonidine, was studied in post-mortem cortical membranes of matched control subjects and depressed suicide victims. In the depressed suicide group, the specific high affinity binding of [3H]clonidine was found to be significantly increased (Bmax, 72% greater; p<0.01) without significant changes in the KD value for the radioligand. These preliminary results indicate thatα 2-adrenoceptor density in the high affinity stateα 2H) is increased in the brain of depressed patients and add strong support to the hypothesis that endogenous depression is related to supersensitiveα 2-adrenoceptors.