Peripheral markers of serotonin and dopamine function in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Donatella Marazziti, Eric Hollander, Patrizia Lensi, Susanna Ravagli, Giovanni Battista Cassano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


In an attempt to clarify the possible role of a serotonergic and dopaminergic dysfunction in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), we measured platelet 3H-imipramine (3H-IMI) binding, serotonin uptake, and platelet sulfotransferase activity in 17 drug-free OCD patients and an equal number of healthy controls. Serotonin uptake and 3H-IMI bindings sites in platelets have been shown to constitute peripheral markers of those present in presynaptic serotonergic neurons. Sulfotransferase, an enzyme involved in the catabolism of phenolic compounds and of cathecholamines such as dopamine, has similar kinetic characteristics in brain and platelets. Our results showed a lower number of 3H-IMI binding sites and a higher level of sulfotransferase activity in OCD patients compared with those in controls. These preliminary results suggest involvement of both the serotonin and dopamine systems in OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Catecholamines
  • H-imipramine binding
  • platelets
  • sulfotransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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