Changes in the serotonin transporter in the hippocampus of subjects with schizophrenia identified using [3H]paroxetine

L. Naylor, B. Dean, K. Opeskin, G. Pavey, C. Hill, N. Keks, D. Copolov

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[3H]paroxetine binding to membrane from hippocampus, obtained at autopsy, from 24 schizophrenic and 24 non-schizophrenic subjects has been measured. The affinity of [3H]paroxetine binding to hippocampal membrane was decreased in subjects with schizophrenia (Kd = 0.50 ± 0.04 vs. 0.24 ± 0.02 nM; mean ± S.E.M. p < 0.001) but was not different in schizophrenic subjects who had or had not committed suicide (Kd = 0.50 ± 0.07 vs. 0.50 ± 0.04 nM). The density of [3H]paroxetine binding sites did not differ between the schizophrenic and non-schizophrenic subjects. For the schizophrenic subjects, there was no relationship between ante-mortem neuroleptic drug treatment and [3Hlparoxetine binding to the hippocampal membrane. Finally, this study has shown that neuroleptic drug treatment of rats does not alter [3H]paroxetine binding to the hippocampal membranes. Thus, it would seem that the changes in the affinity of [3H]paroxetine binding to the hippocampus of schizophrenic subjects are not likely to be due to neuroleptic drug treatment but may be involved in the pathology of the illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 1996


  • [H]paroxetine
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuroleptic drugs
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicide

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