There is a significant association between cardiovascular disease and depression. Previous studies have documented changes in platelets in depression. It is unknown if depression causes functional changes in platelet surface receptors. Therefore, we analyzed (1) the surface expression of glycoprotein (GP)Ib and the integrin receptor alpha(IIb)beta(IIIa), receptors involved in platelet adhesion and aggregation, (2) CD62 (P-selectin) and CD63, integral granule proteins translocated during platelet activation, (3) platelet aggregation in response to ADP and (4) plasma levels of glycocalicin and von Willebrand factor (vWF), in depressed patients compared to healthy volunteers. Fifteen depressed patients with a Hamilton depression score of at least 22 and fifteen control subjects were studied. Platelets were assessed for surface expression levels of GPIb, alpha(IIb)beta(IIIa), CD62 and CD63 by flow cytometry. Genomic DNA was isolated to investigate a recently described polymorphism in the 5' untranslated region of the GPIbalpha gene. The number of GPIb receptors was significantly increased on the surface of platelets from patients with depression compared to control subjects. Surface expression of CD62 was also significantly increased in the depressed patients versus control subjects. There was no significant difference between depressed patients and healthy volunteers in the surface expression of alpha(IIb)beta(IIIa) or CD63, or in glycocalicin or vWF plasma concentration, or ADP-induced aggregation. There was no difference in allele frequency of the Kozak region polymorphism of the GPIbalpha gene, which can affect GPIb expression. The results of this study demonstrate that the number of GPIb receptors on platelets are increased in depression and suggest a novel risk factor for thrombosis in patients with depression.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->