Serotonin transporter mRNA expression is decreased by lamivudine and ribavirin and increased by interferon in immune cells

C. W. Tsao, Y. S. Lin, J. T. Cheng, W. W. Chang, C. L. Chen, S. R. Wu, C. W. Fan, H. Y. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clinical reports document that depression as a side effect is more prevalent in hepatic patients given interferon (IFN)-α therapy than in those given lamivudine. The mechanisms, however, are poorly understood. Serotonin transporter (5-HTT), via uptake of serotonin (5-HT) into presynaptic serotoninergic neurons, is an initial action site for antidepressants. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to quantify 5-HTT mRNA expression in immune cells in order to evaluate whether 5-HTT acted as an indicator of depression. Results showed that the 5-HTT mRNA expression was much higher in T-cell and B-cell lines than that in a monocytic cell line. Treatment with either lamivudine or ribavirin reduced the 5-HTT mRNA expression, protein level and 5-HT uptake in T-cell line. Treatment with IFN-α, however, increased those levels in the same group. A similar effect was observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Mimicking clinical use by treating PBMC with a combination of IFN-α and ribavirin increased the 5-HTT mRNA expression level. Our study indicates that these therapeutic drugs regulate 5-HTT expression, which implies that 5-HTT might be a trait marker in IFN-α-induced depression after hepatic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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