Enhanced binding of [3H] (-) adrenaline to platelets of depressed patients with melancholia: effect of long-term clomipramine treatment

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1987 Feb;75(2):150-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1987.tb02767.x.


The specific binding of the full agonist [3H] (-) adrenaline to platelet membranes was measured in 14 drug-free depressed patients with melancholia. There was an increased number of binding sites (Bmax) with the same apparent affinity (KD) for the radioligand, indicating that platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptor density in the high affinity state was increased in depressed patients. Long-term administration of clomipramine was associated with decreases in platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptor densities which correlated with the duration of treatment. The results support the hypothesis that in endogenous depression there is a dysfunction of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor and that antidepressant treatment might involve a time-dependent desensitization process of this receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Clomipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder / blood
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Epinephrine / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha / metabolism


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha
  • Clomipramine
  • Epinephrine