The Alpha-2 Adrenoceptor Vulnerability Hypothesis of Depression: From the Clonidine Growth Hormone Stimulation Test to the Genes Encoding a Human Alpha-2 Adrenoceptor and Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase

  • M. R. Hoehe
  • L. R. Goldin
  • E. E. Baetge
  • K.-U. Lentes
  • W. H. Berrettini
Conference paper


The pharmacological challenge has been a major approach for generating and testing pathophysiological hypotheses in depression. A classical paradigm has been the clonidine (CLON) growth hormone (GH) stimulation test: the selective alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist CLON has been used as a tool to test alpha-2 adrenoceptor function, generating the alpha-2 adrenoceptor hypothesis of depression. As the CLON-induced GH secretion was shown to reflect alpha-2 adrenoceptor sensitivity (Terry and Martin 1981; Eriksson et al. 1982), the GH response to CLON has been considered a valid indication of hypothalamic alpha-2 adrenoceptor function.


Growth Hormone Response Recombination Fraction Euthymic Patient Pathophysiological Hypothesis PNMT Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Hoehe
    • 1
  • L. R. Goldin
    • 1
  • E. E. Baetge
    • 2
  • K.-U. Lentes
    • 3
  • W. H. Berrettini
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Neurogenetics BranchNIMH, NIHBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Human GeneticsUniversität BonnBonn 1Germany

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