Changes in platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptor binding post partum: possible relation to maternity blues.
Metz A., Stump K., Cowen PJ., Elliott JM., Gelder MG., Grahame-Smith DG.
Platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptor binding characteristics were investigated in 28 healthy women during the peripartum period. The number of platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptors fell after childbirth, corresponding to a fall in the circulating levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Two-thirds of the women had an episode of maternity blues. At 7-10 days post partum the platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptor capacity in these subjects was significantly higher than in those women who did not show signs of maternity blues and significantly higher than a control group of normally menstruating women. We conclude that platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptors may be affected by the circulating levels of endogenous oestrogen and progesterone and that a delayed or diminished fall in platelet alpha 2-adrenoceptor capacity after childbirth may be associated with the development of maternity blues.