Serotonin receptors in suicide victims with major depression

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1997 Feb;16(2):162-73. doi: 10.1016/S0893-133X(96)00170-4.


Serotonin1A (5-HT1A) and serotonin2A (5-HT2A) receptors in the brain have been implicated in the pathophysiology of suicide. Brain samples were collected at autopsy from suicide victims with a current episode of major depression and matched comparison subjects who died of natural or accidental causes. Retrospective psychiatric assessments were collected from knowledgeable informants for all suicide victims and most of the comparison subjects. Psychiatric diagnoses were determined according to DSM-III-R criteria. Any subjects with current psychoactive substance use disorders were excluded. Quantitative receptor autoradiography was used in serial sections of the right prefrontal cortex (area 10) and hippocampus to measure the binding of [3H]8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propyl)-aminotetralin ([3H]8-OH-DPAT) to 5-HT1A receptors and [3H]ketanserin to 5-HT2A receptors. Analysis of covariance was used to compare control subjects and suicide victims with major depression. The age of subjects, the time from death to freezing the tissue (postmortem interval), and the storage time of tissues in the freezer were used as covariates in the analyses. There were no significant differences between suicide victims with major depression and comparison subjects in 5-HT1A or 5-HT2A receptors in area 10 of the right prefrontal cortex or the hippocampus. The current results suggest that the number of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors in the right prefrontal cortex (area 10) or hippocampus are not different in suicide victims with major depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoradiography
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Suicide / psychology*


  • Receptors, Serotonin