Antidepressants alter cerebrovascular permeability and metabolic rate in primates

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Science  16 Jul 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4556, pp. 250-252
DOI: 10.1126/science.7089562


External detection of the annihilation radiation produced by water labeled with oxygen-15 was used to measure cerebrovascular permeability and cerebral blood flow in six rhesus monkeys. Use of oxygen-15 also permitted assessment of cerebral metabolic rate in two of the monkeys. Amitriptyline produced a dose-dependent, reversible increase in permeability at plasma drug concentrations which are therapeutic for depressed patients. At the same concentrations the drug also produced a 20 to 30 percent reduction in cerebral metabolic rate. At higher doses normal autoregulation of cerebral blood flow was suspended, but responsivity to arterial carbon dioxide was normal.