The authors assessed alpha-adrenergic receptor function in blood
platelets from chronic schizophrenic patients and normal control subjects.
The number of receptors was measured by the specific binding of the
alpha-adrenergic antagonist [3H]dihydroergocryptine to the platelets. A
physiological response of the platelets to agonist occupancy of the
alpha-adrenergic receptors was measured by the norepinephrine inhibition of
prostaglandin E1(PGE1)-stimulated cyclic AMP (cAMP) production. cAMP
production in male schizophrenic patients was lower than in normal male
subjects. alpha-Adrenergic receptor function was similar in patients and
normal control subjects of both sexes. Normal male subjects had about 1.5
times the number of alpha- adrenergic receptors as normal females and
generated about 1.8 times the quantity of PGE1-stimulated cAMP.