5-HT2A receptor binding is reduced in drug-naive and unchanged in SSRI-responder depressed patients compared to healthy controls: A PET study

Cristina Messa, Cristina Colombo, Rosa Maria Moresco, Clara Gobbo, Laura Galli, Giovanni Lucignani, Maria Carla Gilardi, Giovanna Rizzo, Enrico Smeraldi, Raffaella Zanardi, Francesc Artigas, Ferruccio Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate differences in 5-HT2A receptor binding between healthy volunteers and patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), either never treated before with antidepressants (drug-naive: DN) or responding to paroxetine treatment (drug-treated: DT). Methods: Nineteen DN patients with MDD and 15 euthymic DT (paroxetine 4 weeks) patients were compared with a group of 20 healthy controls (C) with positron emission tomography (PET) using [18F]fluoroethylspiperone ([18F]FESP), a 5-HT2A and D2 receptor antagonist. A "binding index" (BI) of [18F]FESP to cortical and basal ganglia regions was calculated as the ratio of the activity in these regions to that of cerebellum. Differences in BI between groups, i.e. C versus DN or DT, were assessed by ANOVA, with or without age as covariate (ANCOVA). Results: A significant reduction in BI (P=0.003 ANOVA, P=0.001 ANCOVA) was found in DN patients in the frontal, occipital, temporal and cingulate cortices, but not in the striatum. No significant differences emerged between C and DT patients. Conclusions: The reduction of [18F]FESP BI in cortical areas of DN depressed, but not of euthymic DT patients suggests an association between the occurrence of depressive symptoms and impairment of cortical 5-HT2A receptors. [18F]FESP cortical BI may represent a state marker of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume167
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

Keywords

  • Antidepressant
  • Emission tomography
  • Major depression
  • Serotonin receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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    Messa, C., Colombo, C., Moresco, R. M., Gobbo, C., Galli, L., Lucignani, G., Gilardi, M. C., Rizzo, G., Smeraldi, E., Zanardi, R., Artigas, F., & Fazio, F. (2003). 5-HT2A receptor binding is reduced in drug-naive and unchanged in SSRI-responder depressed patients compared to healthy controls: A PET study. Psychopharmacology, 167(1), 72-78.