Alcohol related phenotypes and platelet serotonin concentration.

G Nedic ErjavecN Pivac


Alcohol dependence is a chronic relapsing mental disorder with heterogeneous and complex underlying biology. It is frequently associated with nicotine dependence, severity of alcohol dependence symptoms and diverse alcohol related phenotypes including the presence of delirium tremens and withdrawal symptoms, early or late onset of alcohol abuse, aggression, suicidal behavior and anxiety. While searching for peripheral biomarkers of altered serotonergic (5-HT) function in alcohol dependence and alcohol related behaviors, we determined peripheral biomarker, i.e. platelet 5-HT concentration in a large group of Caucasian subjects with alcohol dependence subdivided according to the presence of specific alcohol related phenotypes and smoking status. Individuals with alcohol dependence (N=661) of both sexes were evaluated using Structural Clinical Interview based on DSM-IV criteria, while platelet 5-HT concentration was determined using the spectrophotofluorimetric method. Smoking is significantly associated, while sex and age are not, with platelet 5-HT concentration. Severe alcohol dependence and lack of withdrawal symptoms were associated with significantly decreased platelet 5-HT concentration in alcohol dependent non-smokers. In ...Continue Reading

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