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April 1990

Elevated Plasma Concentrations of α1-Acid Glycoprotein, a Putative Endogenous Inhibitor of the Tritiated Imipramine Binding Site, in Depressed Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Nemeroff, Krishnan, and Blazer and Mr Knight) and Pharmacology (Dr Nemeroff), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; and Medical Research Division of American Cyanamid Company, Mahwah, NJ (Mr Benjamin and Dr Meyerson).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(4):337-340. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810160037007

• The plasma concentration of α1-acid glycoprotein, a putative endogenous inhibitor of the site labeled by tritiated imipramine, was measured by a radial immunodiffusion assay in 36 normal human volunteers and 51 drug-free patients who fulfilled DSM-III criteria for major depression. The depressed patients exhibited a significant elevation in the plasma concentration (±SEM) of α1-acid glycoprotein (79.6±4 mg/dL) when compared with the age- and sex-matched controls (61.7 ±3 mg/dL). Fourteen of the 51 patients with major depression had plasma α1-acid glycoprotein concentrations that were higher than the highest values of the normal controls. There was no relationship between plasma α1-acid glycoprotein concentrations and sex or affinity of platelet tritiated imipramine binding of either the normal volunteers or the depressed patients. In the depressed patients, there was a significant positive correlation between plasma concentrations of α1-acid glycoprotein and postdexamethasone plasma cortisol concentrations, and two measures of depression severity, the Montgomery-Asberg Rating Scale for Depression and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies—Depression Scale, and a significant negative correlation with age. These data provide the first evidence of alterations of an endogenous inhibitor of the tritiated imipramine binding site/serotonin transporter in depressed patients.

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