Reduced β-adrenergic receptor-coupled Gs protein function and Gsα immunoreactivity in mononuclear leukocytes of patients with depression

Sofia Avissar, Liza Barki-Harrington, Yakov Nechamkin, Gregori Roitman, Gabriel Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


β-Adrenergic receptor-coupled Gs protein function was measured in 26 depressed patients through cholera toxin-sensitive, isoproterenol-induced increases in 3H-Gpp(NH)p binding capacity to mononuclear leukocytes (MNL). Highly significant reductions in receptor-coupled Gs protein function were observed in the depressed patients: 2.0 ± 1.3% increases in guanine nucleotide-binding capacity, in comparison with the control group values of 28.3 ± 6.9%. Similar reductions in Gs protein function were detected in both uni- and bipolar depressed patients, A significant negative correlation was found between receptor-coupled Gs protein measures and the severity of depression. Adding semiquantitative measures of MNL Gsα. through immunoblot analysis by use of polyclonal antibodies against Gsα subunit, it was found that Gsα relative immunoreactivity was reduced from 100 ± 2.0% in the control group of subjects to 75.9 ± 2.3% in the depressed patients. We have previously described hyperfunctional Gs proteins in leukocytes of patients with mania. The present findings of reduced function of Gs in depressed patients suggests receptor-coupled Gs protein activity as a biochemical parameter indicatory of the affective state. Reduced receptor-coupled Gs protein function may reflect reduced levels of the β-adrenergic receptor previously shown in leukocytes of depressed patients; however, our complementary immunoblot studies suggest a direct, postreceptor, quantitative, and functional reduction in Gs protein in MNL of depressed patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-760
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 1996
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by research grants from the Stanley Foundation USA and the Chief Scientist Office of the Israel Ministry of Health to G.S. and S.A., and by the Zeldovich Foundation to G.S.S. Avissar is a Fellow of the National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel in honor of Prof. Joel Elkes and is a recipient of NARSAD Young Investigator Award.


  • Bipolar depression
  • Gs protein
  • Gsα immunoreactivity
  • Guanine nucleotide binding
  • Unipolar
  • β-adrenergic receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced β-adrenergic receptor-coupled Gs protein function and Gsα immunoreactivity in mononuclear leukocytes of patients with depression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this