Serotonin-induced decrease of intracellular Ca2+ release in platelets of bulimic patients normalizes during treatment
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Numerous symptoms related to eating disorders have been shown to be influenced by serotonergic (5-HT) functioning, with the 5-HT2A receptor subtype being one of the most relevant involved in the pathophysiology of bulimia nervosa (BN). In line with this, Ca2+ mobilization as mediated by 5-HT2 receptors in platelets was shown to serve as a peripheral model for central nervous 5-HT functioning. Here, the 5-HT-induced intracellular Ca2+ mobilization in platelets was measured in 13 female normal weight bulimic patients (14–18 years) upon admission and at the end of inpatient treatment. Findings were compared to 21 age-matched healthy female adolescents. 5-HT-induced Ca2+ release was significantly decreased in bulimic patients upon admission and normalized during inpatient treatment. Antidepressive medication caused a significant improvement. The data provide further evidence that altered 5-HT2 receptor functioning is involved in the pathophysiological underpinnings in BN.