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Increased [3H] raclopride binding sites in postmortem brains from schizophrenic violent suicide victims


The specific binding of the D2-dopamine receptor antagonist radioligand [3H] raclopride was quantitated in the postmortem caudate and frontal cortex from schizophrenic suicide victims and control subjects. In schizophrenic suicides the density of binding sites (Bmax) was higher (40%,P<0.05) in the caudate, whereas it did not change in the cortex as compared to those in controls. The apparent dissociation constants (K d ) were also found increased both in caudate (24%) and cortex (75%) from schizophrenics, but these apparent decreases in receptor affinity did not reach statistical significance. The mean Bmax value in drug-free schizophrenic suicides (n=3) did not differ from the Bmax value in neuroleptic drug-treated schizophrenics (n=7) but it was found increased in respect to control subjects (n=9). No differences in [3H] raclopride binding were observed between non-schizophrenic suicide victims (n=4) and matched controls (n=4), suggesting that the modifications of D2-dopamine receptors in schizophrenia are not related to suicide.

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Correspondence to Jesús A. García-Sevilla.

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Ruiz, J., Gabilondo, A.M., Javier Meana, J. et al. Increased [3H] raclopride binding sites in postmortem brains from schizophrenic violent suicide victims. Psychopharmacology 109, 410–414 (1992).

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Key words

  • Schizophrenic suicides
  • Human brain
  • D2-dopamine receptors
  • [3H] raclopride