Background: Animal studies have indicated that 5-HT2A receptors could play a role in arthritic diseases.
Objective: To analyse the binding properties of 5-HT2A receptors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods: Using a radioactive binding assay, 43 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were compared with 49 sex and age matched controls for density and affinity (measured as Bmax and Kd) of 5-HT2A serotonin receptors. Genotyping, using polymerase chain reaction, was undertaken to exclude the possibility that differences in the genetic polymorphism T102C for the 5-HT2A receptor determine differences in receptor density.
Results: Mean of Bmax of 5-HT2A receptors in rheumatoid patients was significantly lower than in controls, at 45.3 v 57.4 fmol/mg protein (p = 0.004), but there was no significant difference in Kd. The T102C receptor polymorphism genotypes showed a skewed distribution between the two groups. Even when adjusted for this, there was a significant difference in Bmax between the groups.
Conclusions: The density of 5-HT2A serotonin receptors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is markedly reduced. This could either reflect a difference involved in the susceptibility to the disease or be a secondary effect of the disease.
- AA, adjuvant induced arthritis
- [3H]LSD, [3H]-lysergic acid diethylamide
- 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin)
- rheumatoid arthritis
- serotonin receptor 5-HT2A
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