Platelet serotonin transporter function and heart rate variability in patients with panic disorder

J Korean Med Sci. 2010 Apr;25(4):613-8. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2010.25.4.613. Epub 2010 Mar 19.


Many studies showed abnormal serotonin transporter (5-HTT) function and heart rate variability (HRV) in panic disorder patients. The present study investigated the relationship between HRV power spectral analysis findings and platelet serotonin uptake in panic disorder patients. Short-term HRV over 5 min and platelet serotonin transporter uptake parameters (V(max) and K(m)) were measured both in 45 patients with panic disorder and in 30 age-matched normal healthy control subjects. Low frequency power (LF) normalized unit (nu) and LF/high frequency power (HF) were significantly higher, whereas HF and HF nu were lower in the patient group than in the control group. V(max) and K(m) were all significantly lower (i.e., reflects decreased 5-HTT function) in patients with panic disorder than in normal controls. In the patient group, K(m) was negatively correlated with LF/HF and LF nu whereas no such correlations between them were found in the control group. By multivariate analysis based on multiple hierarchical linear regression, a low K(m) independently predicted an increased LF nu even after controlling for age, sex, and body mass index in the patient group. These results suggest that impaired 5-HTT function is closely related to dysregulation of autonomic nervous system in panic disorder.

Keywords: Heart Rate Variability; Panic Disorder; Platelet Serotonin Uptake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Serotonin