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Arthritis Res Ther. 2006; 8(4): R99.
Published online Jun 21, 2006. doi:  10.1186/ar1982
PMCID: PMC1779383
Alteration of serotonin transporter density and activity in fibromyalgia
Laura Bazzichi,1 Gino Giannaccini,2 Laura Betti,2 Giovanni Mascia,2 Laura Fabbrini,2 Paola Italiani,2 Francesca De Feo,2 Tiziana Giuliano,1 Camillo Giacomelli,2 Alessandra Rossi,2 Antonio Lucacchini,corresponding author2 and Stefano Bombardieri1
1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67 - 56126 PISA Italy
2Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via Bonanno 6, 56126, Pisa, Italy
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Laura Bazzichi: l.bazzichi/at/int.med.unipi.it; Gino Giannaccini: ggino/at/farm.unipi.it; Laura Betti: betti/at/farm.unipi.it; Giovanni Mascia: mascia/at/farm.unipi.it; Laura Fabbrini: fabbrini/at/farm.unipi.it; Paola Italiani: italiani/at/farm.unipi.it; Francesca De Feo: fdefeo/at/farm.unipi.it; Tiziana Giuliano: t.giuliano/at/int.med.unipi.it; Camillo Giacomelli: camilgi/at/tin.it; Alessandra Rossi: rossi/at/farm.unipi.it; Antonio Lucacchini: lucas/at/farm.unipi.it; Stefano Bombardieri: s.bombardieri/at/int.med.unipi.it
Received February 21, 2006; Revisions requested March 30, 2006; Revised May 12, 2006; Accepted May 31, 2006.
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the kinetic parameters of a specific serotonin transporter (SERT) and serotonin uptake in a mentally healthy subset of patients with fibromyalgia. Platelets were obtained from 40 patients and 38 healthy controls. SERT expression and functionality were evaluated through the measurement of [3H]paroxetine binding and the [3H]serotonin uptake itself. The values of maximal membrane binding capacity (Bmax) were statistically lower in the patients than in the healthy volunteers, whereas the dissociation constant (Kd) did not show any statistically significant variations. Moreover, a decrease in the maximal uptake rate of SERT (Vmax) was demonstrated in the platelets of patients, whereas the Michaelis constant (Km) did not show any statistically significant variations. Symptom severity score (tiredness, tender points index and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire) were negatively correlated with Bmax and with Vmax, and positively correlated with Km. A change in SERT seems to occur in fibromyalgic patients, and it seems to be related to the severity of fibromyalgic symptoms.
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