, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 101–103 | Cite as

Platelet [3H]imipramine binding in autism and schizophrenia

  • A. Weizman
  • N. Gonen
  • S. Tyano
  • G. A. Szekely
  • M. Rehavi
Original Investigations


[3H]Imipramine binding to platelet membranes was evaluated in ten autistics, eight schizophrenics and seven normal controls. The schizophrenics and eight out of the ten autistics were maintained on chronic neuroleptic treatment. Diagnosis of autism and schizophrenia was established according to the DSM-III criteria. No significant difference in the maximal binding capacity of [3H]imipramine (Bmax) andKd values could be found among the three groups. It seems that the imipramine binding site is intact both in autism and schizophrenia.

Key words

Autism Schizophrenia Imipramine binding site Neuroleptics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahtee L, Briley MS, Raisman R, Lebrec D, Langer SZ (1981) Reduced uptake of serotonin but unchanged [3H]imipramine binding in the platelets of cirrhotic patients. Life Sci 29:2323–2329Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association (1980) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 3rd edn, Wahington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson GM, Minderaa RB, van Benthem PPG, Volkmar FR, Cohen DJ (1984a) Platelet imipramine binding in autistic subjects. Psychiatry Res 11:133–141Google Scholar
  4. Anderson LT, Cambell M, Grega DM, Perry R, Small AM, Green WH (1984b) Haloperidol in the treatment of infantile autism: Effects on learning and behavioral symptoms. Am J Psychiatry 141:1195–1202Google Scholar
  5. Arora RC, Meltzer HY (1982) Serotonin uptake by blood platelets of schizophrenic patients. Psychiatry Res 6:327–333Google Scholar
  6. August GJ, Raz N, Baird TD (1985) Effects of fenfluramine on behavioral, cognitive and affective disturbances in autistic children. J Autism Dev Disord 15:97–107Google Scholar
  7. Boullin D, Freeman BJ, Geller E, Ritvo E, Rutter M, Yuwiler A (1982) Toward the resolution of conflicting findings. J Autism Dev Disord 12:97–101Google Scholar
  8. Briley MS, Langer SZ, Raisman R, Sechter D, Zarifian E (1980) Tritiated imipramine binding sites are decreased in platelets of untreated depressed patients. Science 209:303–305Google Scholar
  9. Clineschmidt BV, Zacchei AG, Totaro JA, Pflueger AB, McGuffin JC, Wishousky TI (1978) Fenfluramine and brain serotonin. Ann NY Acad Sci 305:222–241Google Scholar
  10. Cohen DJ, Caparulo BK, Shaywitz BA, Bowers MB Jr (1977) Dopamine and serotonin metabolism in neuropsychiatrically disturbed children. Arch Gen Psychiatry 34:545–550Google Scholar
  11. Cohen DJ, Shaywitz BA, Young JC, Bowers MB Jr (1980) Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood. In: Wood J (ed) Neurobiology of cerebrospinal fluid. Plenum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Field EJ, Caspary EA, Carnegie PR (1971) Lymphocyte sensitization to basic protein of brain in malignant neoplasia: Experiments with serotonin and related compounds. Nature 223:284–286Google Scholar
  13. Geller E, Ritvo ER, Freeman BJ, Yuwiler A (1982) Preliminary observations on the effect of fenfluramine on blood serotonin and symptoms in three autistic boys. N Engl J Med 307:165–168Google Scholar
  14. Gentsch C, Lichtsteiner M, Gastpar M, Gastpar G, Feer H (1985) [3H]Imipramine binding sites in platelets of hospitalized psychiatric patients. Psychiatry Res 14:177–187Google Scholar
  15. Hanley HG, Stahl SM, Freedman DX (1977) Hyperserotonemia and amine metabolites in autistic and retarded children. Arch Gen Psychiatry 34:521–531Google Scholar
  16. Hoshino Y, Yamamoto T, Kaneko M, Tachibana R, Watanabe M, Ono Y, Kumashiro H (1984) Blood serotonin and free tryptophan concentration in autistic children. Neuropsychobiology 11:22–27Google Scholar
  17. Jensen JB, Realmuto GM, Garfinkel BD (1985) The dexamethasone suppression test in infantile autism. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 3:263–265Google Scholar
  18. Kuperman S, Beeghly JML, Burns TL, Tsai LY (1985) Serotonin relationships of autistic probands and their first-degree relatives. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 2:186–190Google Scholar
  19. Langer SZ, Moret C, Raisman R, Dubocovich ML, Briley M (1980) High affinity [3H]imipramine binding in rat hypothalamus: Association with uptake of serotonin but not of norepinephrine. Science 210:1133–1135Google Scholar
  20. Mahler KR, Harper JF, Macleay A, King MG (1975) Peculiarities in the endocrine response to insulin stress in early infantile autism. J Nerv Ment Dis 161:180–184Google Scholar
  21. Meltzer HY, Arora RC, Baber R, Tricou BJ (1981) Serotonin uptake in blood platelets of psychiatric patients. Arch Gen Psychiatry 38:1322–1326Google Scholar
  22. Modai I, Rotman A, Munitz H, Tyano S, Wijsenbeek H (1979) Serotonin uptake by blood platelets of acute schizophrenic patients. Psychopharmacology 64:193–195Google Scholar
  23. Paul SM, Rehavi M, Skolnick P, Goodwin FK (1980) Demonstration of specific high affinity binding sites for [3H]imipramine on human platelets. Life Sci 26:953–959Google Scholar
  24. Paul SM, Rehavi M, Rice KC, Ittah Y, Skolnick P (1981a) Does high affinity [3H]imipramine binding label serotonin reuptake sites in brain and platelet. Life Sci 28:2753–2760Google Scholar
  25. Paul SM, Rehavi M, Skolnick P, Ballenger JC, Goodwin FK (1981b) Depressed patients have decreased binding of tritiated imipramine to platelet serotonin “transporter”. Arch Gen Psychiatry 38:1315–1317Google Scholar
  26. Paul SM, Rehavi M, Skolnick P, Goodwin FK (1984) High affinity binding of antidepressants to biogenic amines transport sites in human brain and platelet: Studies in depression. In: Post RM, Ballenger JC (eds) Neurobiology of mood disorders, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 846–853Google Scholar
  27. Petty LK, Arnitz EM, Michelman JD, Zimmerman EG (1984) Autistic children who become schizophrenic. Arch Gen Psychiatry 41:129–135Google Scholar
  28. Raisman R, Briley M, Langer SZ (1979) Specific tricyclic antide-pressant binding sites in rat brain. Nature 281:148–150Google Scholar
  29. Raisman R, Briley MS, Bouchami F, Sechter D, Zarifian E, Langer SZ (1982) [3H]Imipramine binding and serotonin uptake in platelets from untreated depressed patients and control volunteers. Psychopharmacology 77:332–335Google Scholar
  30. Rehavi M, Paul SM, Skolnick P, Goodwin FK (1980) Demonstration of specific high affinity binding sites for [3H]imipramine in human brain. Life Sci 26:2273–2279Google Scholar
  31. Rodnight R (1983) Schizophrenia: Some current neurochemical approaches. J Neurochem 41:12–21Google Scholar
  32. Rotman A, Kaplan R, Szekely GA (1980) Platelets uptake of serotonin in autistic and other psychotic children. Psychopharmacology 67:245–248Google Scholar
  33. Rotman A, Zemishlany Z, Munitz H, Wijsenbeek H (1982) The active uptake of serotonin by platelets of schizophrenic patients and their families: Possibility of a genetic marker. Psychopharmacology 77:171–174Google Scholar
  34. Shore D, Korpi ER, Bigelow LB, Zec RF, Wyatt RJ (1985) Fenfluramine and chronic schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry 20:349–352Google Scholar
  35. Siva-Sankar DV (1977) Uptake of 5-hydroxytryptamine by isolated platelets in childhood schizophrenia and autism. Neuropsychobiology 3:234–239Google Scholar
  36. Stahl SM, Meltzer HY (1978) A kinetic and pharmacologic analysis of 5-hydroxytryptamine transport by human platelets and platelet storage granules: Comparison with central serotonergic neurons. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 205:118–132Google Scholar
  37. Todd RD, Ciaranello RD (1985) Demonstration of inter and intraspecies differences in serotonin binding sites by antibodies from an autistic child. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 82:612–616Google Scholar
  38. Weizman A, Weizman R, Szekely GA, Wijsenbeek H, Livni E (1982) Abnormal immune response to brain tissue antigen in the syndrome of autism. Am J Psychiatry 139:1462–1465Google Scholar
  39. Whitaker PM, Warsh JJ, Stancer HC, Persad E, Vint CK (1984) Seasonal variation in platelet [3H]imipramine binding: comparable values in control and depressed population. Psychiatry Res 11:127–131Google Scholar
  40. Wood PL, Suranyi-Cadotte BE, Nair NPV, LaFaille F, Schwartz G (1983) Lack of association between [3H]imipramine binding sites and uptake of serotonin in control, depressed and schizophrenic patients. Neuropharmacology 22:1211–1214Google Scholar
  41. Yehuda R, Meyer JS (1984) A role for serotonin in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to insulin stress. Neuroendocrinology 38:25–32Google Scholar
  42. Young JG, Cohen DJ, Caparulo BK, Brown SL, Maas JW (1979) Decreased 24-hour urinary MHPG in childhood autism. Am J Psychiatry 136:1055–1057Google Scholar
  43. Young JG, Cohen DJ, Shaywitz BA (1982) Molecular pathology in early childhood psychoses. In: Wing L, Wing JK (eds) Handbook of psychiatry, volume 3, Psychoses of uncertain aetiology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 229–235Google Scholar
  44. Yuwiler A, Ritvo ER, Geller E (1975) Uptake and efflux of serotonin from platelets of autistic and nonautistic children. J Autism Child Schiz 5:83–98Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Weizman
    • 1
  • N. Gonen
    • 1
  • S. Tyano
    • 1
  • G. A. Szekely
    • 2
  • M. Rehavi
    • 3
  1. 1.Geha Psychiatric Hospital, Beilinson Medical Center, Petach Tiqva, and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Ness Ziona Government Psychiatric Hospital, Pediatric Department and Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations