The high-affinity binding of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist, [3H]dihydroalprenolol, was measured in homogenates of frontal cortex (Brodmann's areas 8 and 9) of suicide victims and matched controls. Suicides were classified as violent if gunshot, hanging, or jumping was the cause of death and as nonviolent if carbon monoxide poisoning or drug overdose was the cause of death. No significant differences were found between controls and nonviolent or violent suicide victims with regard to the number of β-adrenergic receptors (Bmax), or the binding affinity (Kd) of the receptor. β-Adrenergic receptor binding was not significantly affected by sex, age, race, or postmortem interval. Serotonin-2 receptor binding (Bmax) in homogenates from the same tissue specimens was previously reported to be significantly increased in violent suicides (Arora and Meltzer 1989). In these sample groups, suicide by violent means appears to be associated with an increase in the number of serotonin-2, but not β-adrenergic, receptors in frontal cortex.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biological Psychiatry