Year: 1999 Source: European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, v.249, no.4, (August 1999), p.212-219 SIEC No: 20100892

This postmortem study determined numbers of noradrenergic neurons by immunostaining the synthesizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase in the locus coeruleus of 12 non-elderly depressed patients with a mood disorder as compared to 12 matched normal controls. 6 patients died by suicide, 6 from natural causes. Non-suicidal patients had fewer neurons immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase than suicide victims or controls. No difference appeared between the number of tyrosine hydroxylase neurons in suicide patients & controls. Results suggest a presynaptic noradrenergic deficit of the locus coeruleus in depressed non-suicidal patients. (51 refs.) JA