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Serotoninergic status in patients with hereditary vascular retinopathy syndrome
  1. C W J M Storimansa,
  2. D Fekkesb,
  3. A van Dalenb,
  4. E D Bleeker-Wagemakersc,
  5. J A Oosterhuisd
  1. aMedical Centre Molendael, Soest, bSection Pathophysiology of Behaviour, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, cThe Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute, Amsterdam, dOphthalmological Department, Leiden University
  1. D Fekkes, Section of Pathophysiology of Behaviour, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, PO Box 1700, 3000 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands.


AIM/BACKGROUND In a new autosomal dominant syndrome (which the authors called hereditary vascular retinopathy (HVR)) cerebral ischaemia, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and migraine are the most striking features. As serotonin (5-HT) is known to play a role in vasospastic processes, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and migraine they wondered whether the serotoninergic status in patients with HVR is different. Therefore, it was decided to investigate some serotoninergic variables in these patients.

METHODS The study was conducted in 12 patients with HVR, 10 relatives, and 19 healthy controls. The levels of intraplatelet and plasma 5-HT were measured, as well as the plasma levels of its precursor amino acid tryptophan and the ratio of tryptophan to the large neutral amino acids, which compete with the transport of tryptophan through the blood-brain barrier.

RESULTS In both the patients with HVR and in nine relatives the concentrations of 5-HT in plasma and platelets were significantly lower than in controls. The plasma levels of tryptophan and the tryptophan ratio were also found to be lower in the patient group compared with the control group, but not in the relatives.

CONCLUSION The observed alterations in 5-HT and its precursor tryptophan strongly suggest the existence of a malfunctioning of the serotoninergic system in the HVR syndrome.

  • vascular retinopathy
  • serotonin
  • tryptophan

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