BACKGROUND: Although the beneficial effects of balneotherapy have been recognized since a long time, a few information is available on the biological mechanisms underlying them and the subjective feelings of increased well-being and mood.
AIM: The links between the serotonin (5-HT) system and mood prompted us to investigate the 5-HT platelet transporter (SERT), which is considered a reliable, peripheral marker of the same structure present in presynaptic neurons, in 30 healthy volunteers before (t0) and 30 minutes after (t1) thermal balneotherapy with ozonized water, as compared with a similar group who underwent a bath in non-mineral water.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The SERT was evaluated by means of the specific binding of 3H-paroxetine (3H-Par) to platelet membranes. Equilibrium-saturation binding data, the maximal binding capacity (Bmax) and the dissociation constant (Kd), were obtained by means of the Scatchard analysis.
RESULTS: The results showed that, while Bmax values did not change in both groups, the Kd values decreased significantly at t1 only in those subjects who bathed in ozonized water.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study, while showing a decrease of the dissociation constant (Kd) which is the inverse of affinity constant, of 3H-Par binding to SERT in all subjects after balneotherapy and not in those bathing in normal water, suggest that SERT modifications may be related to a specific effect of ozonized water and, perhaps, also to the increased sense of well-being.
Corresponding Author: Stefano Baroni, MD; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgFree PDF Download
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To cite this article
S. Baroni, D. Marazziti, G. Consoli, M. Picchetti, M. Catena-Dell’Osso, A. Galassi*
Modulation of the platelet serotonin transporter by thermal balneotherapy: a study in healthy subjects
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 16 - N. 5