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  • The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 10, Issue 3
  • June 2007, pp. 335-343

Platelet 5-HT2A receptor subresponsivity and lethality of attempted suicide in depressed in-patients

  • Kevin M. Malone (a1), Steven P. Ellis (a1) (a2), Dianne Currier (a1) and J. John Mann (a1) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2006

In depressed patients, high-lethality suicidal acts are accompanied by serotonin system abnormalities analogous to those seen in completed suicides. We have previously reported greater platelet 5-HT2A receptor density, and impaired serotonin enhancement of ADP-induced platelet aggregation, an indirect measure of signal transduction, in high-lethality suicide attempters. We hypothesized that serotonin-activated phosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis, a direct measure of platelet serotonin 5-HT2A receptor responsivity would be lower in depressed high-lethality suicide attempters. Twenty-three depressed in-patients that had previously made suicide attempts (low-lethality, n=6; high-lethality, n=17) had platelet 5-HT2A-mediated serotonin-simulated PI hydrolysis assayed. Platelet 5-HT2A receptor responsivity in high-lethality suicide attempters was 41% that of low-lethality suicide attempters (p<0.05). A seasonal effect was also observed. High-lethality suicidal acts are associated with more 5-HT2A receptors but impaired signal transduction.

Corresponding author
Division of Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Box 42, New York, NY 10032, USA. Tel.: (212) 543-5571 Fax: (212) 543-6017 E-mail:
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The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • ISSN: 1461-1457
  • EISSN: 1469-5111
  • URL: /core/journals/the-international-journal-of-neuropsychopharmacology
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