Neuroendocrine evidence for serotonin receptor hypersensitivity in panic disorder

Rene S. Kahn, Gregory M. Asnis, Scott Wetzler, Herman M. van Praag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Normal controls (NC) (n=15), patients with panic disorder (PD) (n=13) and patients with major depression (MD) (n=17) were challenged with a single, oral dose (0.25 mg/kg) of the selective 5HT agonist m-chlorophenyl-piperazine (MCPP) or placebo. Blood samples were assayed for cortisol and MCPP levels every 30 min. The PD group had an augmented cortisol release when compared to the other two groups. Finally, a significant correlation was found across all subjects between clinical anxiety level and cortisol release on MCPP. These data support the hypothesis of 5HT receptor hypersensitivity in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Cortisol
  • MCPP
  • Panic disorder
  • Receptor hypersensitivity
  • Serotonin


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