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Baseline platelet serotonin in a multi-site treatment study of depression in veterans administration patients: Distribution and effects of demographic variables and serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Anderson GM, Ramsey CM, Lynch KG, Gelernter J, Oslin DW. Baseline platelet serotonin in a multi-site treatment study of depression in veterans administration patients: Distribution and effects of demographic variables and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Journal of affective disorders. 2023 Apr 14; 327:368-377.
The objectives of the study were: (1) to examine the overall distribution of baseline platelet serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) values in patients seeking treatment for depression and to define subgroups based on the apparent presence or absence of drug exposure; (2) to assess the bioeffect of 5-HT reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) at the platelet 5-HT transporter; and (3) to examine the relationships of demographic variables including population (ancestry), sex, age, and season of sampling to platelet 5-HT concentration.
Platelet 5-HT levels were measured in a cross-sectional study of 1433 Veterans Administration (VA) patients participating in a pragmatic multi-site pharmacogenomic treatment study of depression. Patients were characterized medically and demographically using VA health records and self-report.
A clearly bimodal distribution was observed for platelet 5-HT levels with the lower mode associated with patients exposed to SRIs at baseline. Median transporter blockade bioeffects were similar across the various selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and 5-HT/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). In a subset of patients apparently not exposed to an SRI, significant effects of population and sex were observed with group mean platelet 5-HT levels being 25 % greater (p < 0.001) in African-American (AA) individuals compared to European-Americans (EAs). The female group mean was 14 % (p < 0.001) greater than male group mean. An effect of age was observed (r = -0.11, p < 0.001) and no effect of season or month of sampling was seen.
Further research is warranted to understand the bases and clinical implications of the population and sex differences. The apparent similarity in bioeffect at the 5-HT transporter across SSRIs and when comparing SSRIs and SNRIs informs discussions about initiating, dose adjustment and switching of 5-HT reuptake inhibitors.