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Changes in platelet alpha-2-adrenoceptors in fibromyalgia (FM): effects of treatment with antidepressants

  [ 29 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 1, 1999

The aim of this study was to determine platelet
alpha(2)-adrenergic receptor (alpha(2)-AR) binding sites in
fibromyalgia both before and after treatment with sertraline
or placebo. The maximum number of binding sites (B(max)) and
their affinity (K(d)) for [(3)H]rauwolscine, a selective
alpha(2)-AR antagonist, were measured in 13 normal volunteers
and 22 fibromyalgia patients. Severity of illness was
evaluated by means of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
(HDRS) and dolorimetric assessments of tenderness at tender
points. Fibromyalgia patients had repeated measurements of
[(3)H]rauwolscine binding characteristics both before and
after subchronic treatment with sertraline or placebo for 12
weeks. [(3)H]rauwolscine binding K(d) values were
significantly higher in fibromyalgia patients than in normal
volunteers. There were significant inverse correlations
between [(3)H]rauwolscine binding K(d) values and duration of
illness, age and lower energy. Significantly higher
[(3)H]rauwolscine binding K(d) values were found in
fibromyalgia patients in an early phase of illness (<3 years)
than in fibromyalgia patients with a protracted illness (>3
years). Repeated administration of sertraline had no
significant effects on [(3)H]rauwolscine binding B(max) or
K(d) values. The results suggest that fibromyalgia and, in
particular, fibromyalgia in an early phase of illness, is
accompanied by lowered affinity of platelet alpha(2)-ARs.

Maes M, Libbrecht I, Delmeire L, Lin A, De Clerck L, Scharpe S,
Janca A

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