November 1990

Autoradiographic Analysis of α1-Noradrenergic Receptors in the Human Brain PostmortemEffect of Suicide

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (Drs Gross-Isseroff and Biegon and Ms Fieldust), and the Department of Psychiatry, New York University (NY) Medical Center (Ms Dillon and Dr Biegon).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(11):1049-1053. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810230065010

• In vitro quantitative autoradiography of α1-noradrenergic receptors, using tritiated prazosin as a ligand, was performed on 24 human brains postmortem. Twelve brains were obtained from suicide victims and 12 from matched controls. We found significant lower binding to α1 receptors in several brain regions of the suicide group as compared with matched controls. This decrease in receptor density was evident in portions of the prefrontal cortex, as well as the temporal cortex and in the caudate nucleus. Age, sex, presence of alcohol, and time from death to autopsy did not affect prazosin binding, in our sample, as measured by autoradiography.