The influence of daylight exposure on platelet 5-HT levels in patients with major depression and schizophrenia
Platelet serotonin (5-HT) can be used as a limited, peripheral model for the central 5-HT synaptosomes. Altered platelet 5-HT concentrations have been associated with psychiatric disorders like depression and schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to compare platelet 5-HT concentrations during long, medium and short period of natural daylight exposure in a large number of medication-free male and female schizophrenic and depressed patients and sex-matched healthy controls. Platelet 5-HT concentration was determined spectrofluorimetrically in 240 (97 female, 143 male) schizophrenic and 258 (153 female, 105 male) nonpsychotic, nonsuicidal depressed medication-free patients and 328 (149 women, 179 men) healthy subjects during periods with short (<12), long (>12) and medium (average 12) hours of the natural daylight. Platelet 5-HT concentration was significantly lower in women compared to men in all groups. Healthy male subjects had significantly higher (p = 0.011) platelet 5-HT concentrations during long compared to medium period. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in platelet 5-HT concentration between different periods in healthy women. The significant increase in platelet 5-HT values were found in female (p = 0.01) and male (p = 0.029) depressed patients during long compared to short period. There were no significant associations between platelet 5-HT concentrations and different periods in both male and female schizophrenic patients. The results indicate the sex-related differences in the serotonergic system. The alterations of platelet 5-HT concentrations, observed across period with different durations of daylight exposure, point to a direct or indirect effect of light on peripheral 5-HT system that could be related to different sensitivity of the pineal gland to light and/or melatonin influence on 5-HT metabolism.
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 89, Issues 2–3, 14 December 2007, Pages 63–69