Reduced levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in blood platelets is a clinical symptom characteristic of individuals with Down's syndrome. To investigate the possible involvement of the Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) gene, which resides at the Down locus on chromosome no. 21, in the etiology of that symptom, we examined blood platelets of transgenic mice harboring the human CuZnSOD gene. It was found that platelets of transgenic CuZnSOD animals, which overexpress the transgene, contain lower levels of serotonin than nontransgenic littermate mice, due to a reduced rate of uptake of the neurotransmitter by the dense granules of the platelets. We found that the pH gradient (ΔpH) across the dense granule membrane, which is the main driving force for serotonin transport, was diminished in dense granules of transgenic-CuZnSOD. Furthermore, a significantly lower than normal serotonin accumulation rate was also detected in dense granules isolated from blood platelets of Down's syndrome individuals. These findings suggest that CuZnSOD gene dosage is affecting the dense granule transport system and is thereby involved in the depressed levels of blood serotonin found in patients born with Down's syndrome.
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1989|