Mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptors play a major role in
steroidogenesis. The authors determined plasma cortisol levels, platelet
levels of mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptors, and anxiety and
depression scores in 11 civilians exposed to the Persian Gulf war. The
density of mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptors was 22% and 15% lower
before and during the war, respectively, than 4 weeks after the end of the
war. Relief of stress led to an increase in receptors, which correlated
with the improvement in anxiety but not mood.