This preliminary study examined the effect of 8 weeks' treatment with the serotonin (SHT) uptake inhibitor, sertraline, on the platelet serotonergic system in depression. Patient pre-treatment platelet 5HT uptake rates and 5HT-mediated platelet aggregation responses were significantly reduced compared to the control values. Binding of the tritiated 5HT2 receptor antagonist, 3H-ketanscrin, to platelet membranes from the patient group was increased above control levels. All the patients in the study had recovered from the depressive episode, assessed using the Hamilton depression rating scale, following 8 weeks' sertraline treatment. Eight weeks' sertraline treatment also resulted in a normalization of the biochemical parameters examined. Therefore, we conclude that sertraline is an effective antidepressant and these results confirm previous reports of abnormal platelet serotonin transport and aggregation response as putative markers of the depressed state.
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