Since lesions characteristic of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are reproduced in animals by vascular ischemia from aortic ligation plus serotonin (5-HT) injections, 5-HT levels and serotonin 14C cellular transport mechanisms were studied in 14 boys with DMD. Plasma 5-HT levels were no different from those of 23 controls, but platelet 5-HT content was moderately reduced. No abnormalities were found in serotonin 14C efflux or monoamine oxidase activity. These studies suggest that a simple increase in circulating 5-HT or decrease in its enzymatic degradation is not present in DMD. The major finding was a markedly reduced initial rate of accumulation of serotonin 14C into platelets from DMD patients. This finding may be of significance to the proposed vascular pathogenesis for DMD in raising the possibility of an alteration in biogenic amine deactivation at the microvascular level.
Dennis L. Murphy, Jerry R. Mendell, W. King Engel. Serotonin and Platelet Function in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Arch Neurol. 1973;28(4):239–242. doi:10.1001/archneur.1973.00490220047006