Serotonin dysregulation in adolescents with major depression: Hormone response to meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) infusion

Neera Ghaziuddin, Cheryl A. King, Kathleen B. Welch, Joan Zaccagnini, E. Weidmer-Mikhail, Alan M. Mellow, Mohammad Ghaziuddin, John F. Greden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study examined central serotonin disturbance, as reflected by neuroendocrine hormones, among adolescents with major depression. Prolactin, cortisol, and growth hormone were measured following the infusion of a serotonin agonist, meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP). Twelve (M = 6, F = 6) medication-free adolescents with major depression (MDD) were compared with 12 (M = 6, F = 6) matched normal control subjects, ranging in age from 13 to 17 years. Baseline evaluations and a battery of laboratory tests were completed. mCPP, 0.1 mg/kg i.v., was administered in a placebo-controlled design. Analyses of the neuroendocrine hormones revealed that the depressed group had a higher baseline prolactin level and an augmented prolactin response to mCPP challenge than did the control group. The depressed group experienced a sharper baseline-cortisol decline between 08.00 and 11.00 h, and compared to control subjects they displayed an augmented response to the challenge. The depressed group reported more side effects than the control group during saline infusion, but not during mCPP infusion. Findings suggest that depressed adolescents have an elevated baseline prolactin level, and also experience enhanced prolactin and cortisol responses to the serotonergic challenge. These preliminary findings will be confirmed during our ongoing study. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 11 2000


  • Adolescent depression
  • Meta- Chlorophenylpiperazine
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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